Monday, March 10, 2014

Traffic Tips To Live By

It would seem to go without saying, but maybe not—
We sometimes get cases where our clients’ actions have been questioned, and they begin their conversation with police or government workers with: “Don’t you know who I am?” 

Tip #1: Don’t do that. This is usually not the best intro into a good exchange.  If they don’t recognize you, telling them who you are almost certainly will not make the situation better.

Tip #2: Don’t tell the police who you know.  A State Trooper friend of mine once told me that his favorite trick is to write on the citation who the person said was going to fix the ticket. That person will almost certainly not get involved.  If you get into too much of a dust up with the officer, he may also write down the exchange.  That makes it harder to get a better deal later.

A final thing that can happen if you get too crossways with the cop is an arrest.  Police call this an attitude arrest.  As they say, you may beat the rap, but you can never beat the ride.  This is the kind of thing that usually starts off with a single traffic charge. Then the officer starts walking around the car, finding more things. That’s when things start to heat up.  After another few minutes of discussion, the driver finds himself in handcuffs.


Tip #3: Be polite and accept the ticket.  You may be able to beat the charge in court or work something out down the line, but you are not likely to win on the side of the road with the officer.



Note to Self: Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt. It is just your promise to appear later in court.  Things often get tense when the officer asks for a signature on the bottom of the citation.  A refusal to sign may mean the officer will keep your license or take you off to jail and make you post a cash bond to be released.  The best thing on the roadside is to keep it short and sweet and make your argument later with the Judge or DA.

--Written By: Greg Gouner

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