Fighting a Ticket?
Your attitude toward an officer is a key factor in determining if you get a ticket
Every police officer is different when issuing a traffic
ticket. Every department has different agenda's and hold
different requirements over their officers when it comes to
issuing tickets. Having said that, I'm going to talk
generally about how and why police officers issue tickets
(aside from special assignments), and how your attitude can
have a direct impact as to why you may or may not get a
For most police officers, issuing tickets is not a high priority. Let me back up; when we first get into police work, its not a high priority, but it is very exciting to us. But as the years go by, traffic tickets are not as fun as they used to be, at least at departments where the officers have plenty of work to do.
Now before I go any further, I want to make it as clear as possible that this article is not designed to get you out of a ticket. Its to let you know where the officer's mind is, and how you're attitude can hurt you or help you.
First of all you must understand that an officer's day to day activity usually has to do with something negative. For instance, arresting people; going to man with a gun calls, trouble calls, etc. For this reason, most officers basically reach a point where they've decided they're not going to take anymore crap, from anyone. What does that mean to you? Well if you're the one that just got stopped, it could mean a lot. For starters, a loose lip could easily make an officer find other violations that he or she may not have intended on giving you in the first place. Is it right? No, but it happens.
Probably one of the most common ways I know of is when a person rolls their eyes to the officer, or hands the police officer their information by holding their hand out the window and looking straight. When its done in a manner to disrespect the officer, or "throwing a fit," its almost certain you're going to get a ticket. Its just being disrespectful. Officers don't want you to kiss their butts, but they do demand a certain amount of respect.
I can't tell you how many tickets I've issued based on someone's attitude
Even when I only planned on advising the person. I'm really
to the point that even if someone appears to be "acting"
nice but gives me even the slightest disrespect, I will not
even consider giving them a break. I figure they are only
"acting" so my goal isn't truly accomplished; the goal being
to get the person to slow down, or follow the law.
So hear are a few things I've put together that you might want to consider when getting stopped:
1. Asking the officer why they stopped you is ok, but you should be very careful with it. Some get offended immediately. I would suggest asking like "I apologize, can you tell me what I did?"
2. Never call a police officer a liar, or anything similar. I can't tell you how many times I've heard statements like "You're a liar" and "I wasn't going near that fast," etc. I know what I saw and you're basically calling me an idiot or a liar at this point.
3. Never use your being black, or a female, or weight or anything as an excuse to why you're getting a ticket. For instance "I know this is because I'm black." I have never written a ticket to someone because they were black, but I have when they've said something so stupid. Its outright calling the officer a racists, and that will never get you a break.
4. Try being polite. Wow, what a concept. Cops are human too, believe it or not. Being polite just might do the trick.
5. Don't argue with the police. This only solidifies the fact that you're getting a ticket.
I'll close with one statement: Treat others as you'd have others treat you. Police are no different. We have a job to do just like everyone else.
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