Police Officer Preparation & Law Enforcement Resource - Archive

The REAL POLICE FORUM is a leading community of police officers and law enforcement professionals. The forum includes police chat and restricted areas for police officers only. The ask-a-cop area allows you to ask questions to real police officers and only verified police are allowed to respond. REALPOLICE.com also features law enforcement jobs, news, training materials and expert articles.




shankomatic
08-12-04, 09:03 PM
What seems to be a common practice these days (at least in Michigan) is many police officers will write speeding violations for lower than the actual speed. (i.e. if you were going 65 in a 55 the officer may only write it for 60 in a 55).

Why is this practice done?

Here are the two logical scenarios that I came up with?

1. The office realizes that you have a clean record, a nice person, and decides to cut you a break on your ticket.

OR

2.The officer (or the system in general) encourages this practice to make people feel they got a break on their ticket with hopes the accused will just pay the fine and not demand their time in court, which saves costs to both the courts and the police department.


scott715us
08-12-04, 09:33 PM
The only time I see it down here is to keep the violator from getting hit with reckless driving. Also, some times the judges in traffic court will see a speed that is way over the limit and impose stiffer fines or penalties. In metro davidson county (Nashville), if the driver is going over 15 mph, they can automatically be charged with reckless and it is their burden to prove that they were not driving reckless in court.

Whenever I cite, I do not change anything. I have actually had people ask me to lower the speed. What is locked on the radar is what I write. Period. ;)

darrell
08-12-04, 09:38 PM
The only time I see it down here is to keep the violator from getting hit with reckless driving. Also, some times the judges in traffic court will see a speed that is way over the limit and impose stiffer fines or penalties. In metro davidson county (Nashville), if the driver is going over 15 mph, they can automatically be charged with reckless and it is their burden to prove that they were not driving reckless in court.

Whenever I cite, I do not change anything. I have actually had people ask me to lower the speed. What is locked on the radar is what I write. Period. ;)


Tourist- I'm not from Tennessee officer can you please lower this to 5 over (they were going 45/35).

scott715us- No maam I can't I had you at 45/35 and I wrote you for same. Oh and by the way Have a Wonderful Stay in Tennessee. Come back soon Ya Hear!


I can soooooo hear you saying that on a traffic stop at the airport. :D


scott715us
08-12-04, 09:43 PM
Ha Ha... :rolleyes: .I don't even waste my time pulling them over unless they're doing at least 15+. That's what's sad about TN, I give about 90% of the driving population a break by setting my "pull-over" speed to about 15 over and I still don't have any problems nailing em. Where I'm at, they average about 10-15 over the posted limit. I think we have one of the worst driving populations in this state. ;)

darrell
08-12-04, 09:45 PM
You aint driven on I-94, I-96 and the absoulte worst for speeders and asshat drivers I-696. I-696 you can just hear it when you get on. "Gentlemen start your engines."

shankomatic
08-12-04, 10:02 PM
You aint driven on I-94, I-96 and the absoulte worst for speeders and asshat drivers I-696. I-696 you can just hear it when you get on. "Gentlemen start your engines."

You forgot about the M-14 Autobahn between Canton and Ann Arbor, I have never once saw any type of law enforcement on this stretch either.

The nice thing about I-696 through Southfield is all of the concrete walls, after all of the idots smash into the walls just hose them down and they are good as new.

darrell
08-12-04, 10:06 PM
You forgot about the M-14 Autobahn between Canton and Ann Arbor, I have never once saw any type of law enforcement on this stretch either.

The nice thing about I-696 through Southfield is all of the concrete walls, after all of the idots smash into the walls just hose them down and they are good as new.


Yep it tries to contain the madness.

I forgot all about the M-14 A2 Canton connector. I know the troops that work out of the Ypsi post don't travel that far from the nest to the north. Just like the #21 Oak Parkers don't jump on I-94 between M-59 (Hall rd or 20 Mile) and Mack or 13 Mile. OH god can't forget M-59. I dare any man to drive it in heavy firday night traffic and not have thoughts of sucide in the back of your head.

michiganstud
08-12-04, 10:09 PM
Yep it tries to contain the madness.

I forgot all about the M-14 A2 Canton connector. I know the troops that work out of the Ypsi post don't travel that far from the nest to the north. Just like the #21 Oak Parkers don't jump on I-94 between M-59 (Hall rd or 20 Mile) and Mack or 13 Mile. OH god can't forget M-59. I dare any man to drive it in heavy firday night traffic and not have thoughts of sucide in the back of your head.


LOL

darrell
08-12-04, 10:12 PM
It's way worse then driving through Cincinasty or Atlanta during rush hour.... Thank god there is a grass median and a 14" curb seperating the eb from the wb lanes. The accidents there are really nasty.

Babysmamadrama
08-12-04, 11:38 PM
I write them for what I locked them in for.

And no they don't get to see the radar.

Well, that's not entirely true. During day watch, when we had batteries in the hand helds, I would carry the radar up to car and ask them if they knew the speed limit, to which they always guess wrong. So I inform them and then show them the radar gun with the radar measurement. Its funny the looks they give, like I am giving them cancer or something.

txinvestigator1
08-13-04, 12:48 AM
Way back when the 55 MPH was first passed nationwide, some Texas DPS LT's and above demanded that they see some tickets written for 61 MPH. The troopers were not overjoyed by this, but the brass got their wish.

The troopers wrote people going 70+ for 61 in a 55. :)

DepDog
08-13-04, 01:09 AM
Shankomatic

You hit the nail on the head for me. Like I said I usually stop peeps for going 15 over the limit and I write them for 5 over. Saves them $$$ and points and from me having to go to court all the time.

Every stop I make i use this same speal. Good (morning, afternoon, evening) I'm Deputy Clark with the Sheriff Dept. the reason I stopped you was because you were speeding. Do you know how fast you were going?

75% of the people say no, I was not paying attention. (B.S. when I go past a patrol car by instinct I look at my speedometer). Unless the officer is in a real good hiding spot or you were talking on your cell phone (which seems to happen a lot) you know about how fast you are going. If the person is honest I will cut them a huge break, but if your going 90 miles an hour down the expressway, I pull out as your going by, and stop you, and I know you had to have seen me, your getting a ticket.


What seems to be a common practice these days (at least in Michigan) is many police officers will write speeding violations for lower than the actual speed. (i.e. if you were going 65 in a 55 the officer may only write it for 60 in a 55).

Why is this practice done?

Here are the two logical scenarios that I came up with?

1. The office realizes that you have a clean record, a nice person, and decides to cut you a break on your ticket.

OR

2.The officer (or the system in general) encourages this practice to make people feel they got a break on their ticket with hopes the accused will just pay the fine and not demand their time in court, which saves costs to both the courts and the police department.

Darin
08-13-04, 02:53 AM
I start writing at 15+ over the limit. At 15+ you have no excuse (usually) for going that fast. If they come in the RADAR beam at say 80 and leave the beam at 76, I'll write them for the lower speed I recorded. I will not lower it past the lowest recorded speed. If I do then I'm being a judge, in a way, on the side of the road. If they want to come to court then the judge can decide if he wants to lower it more than that. I don't get paid enough to be a judge ;)

shankomatic
08-13-04, 07:31 PM
(B.S. when I go past a patrol car by instinct I look at my speedometer). Unless the officer is in a real good hiding spot or you were talking on your cell phone (which seems to happen a lot) you know about how fast you are going.

In all of 3/10ths of a second, I saw the officer (on a motorcycle behind a bridge embuckmet), could have swore I saw the actual radar waves bounce from the gun to my car visually, looked at my speedometer, said an expletive and realized I was getting pulled over.

mcsap
08-13-04, 10:45 PM
We start at 15 over as well. I might consider cutting a few off but inform them that if they choose to take a hearing, I will withdraw and refile at the original speed. Attitude, drunks and cop haters get NO breaks.

coucousis
08-13-04, 11:05 PM
I low down the speed in most case where the driver admitts upon interception the mistakes. If I got a denial attitude or any kind of attitude at all .... It's full price.
Other things I take into consideration... Criminal background!

But I have to say that most of the time criminals are very polite and nice because they know very well they will get slammed if they show an attitude. Big buisnessman however is more likely to insult or be rude upon interception.

All is in the attitude.

As for me I low down the speed in about 75% of the time if I got no arguing to do.

I don't care at all going to court.... On contrary I like OT and wish I'd do more 5 minutes court presence for a 4 hours pay at OT rate! I low down people speed because they are nice ... or else it's full price!

dwf
09-09-04, 09:09 AM
I will almost always write at the next lower level and I think I've had 2 or 3 challenged in the last couple of years. I do write the actual recorded speed on the citation so the judge can see that they've been given a break already, so he isn't so likely to give them another.

Aggie
09-10-04, 01:19 AM
When do you guys warn?

Even being as young as I am, I've gotten a break more than my fair share of times. For others my age, they always get cited. Does it come down to attitude?

mcsap
09-10-04, 02:20 AM
15 and over is our magic number. Some idiot was given a break down to 5 over and took it to court saying the officer wasn't truthful and accurate on the ticket so it should be thrown out. The officer had written in the comment section what the true speed was ( 15 over). The judge found him guilty at 15 over instead saying that it was the TRUE and accurate speed he was demanding.

121Traffic
09-10-04, 02:49 AM
lmao

dumbass...

Darin
09-10-04, 07:55 PM
Yep 15 over is my magic number. But still there are some circumstances I will still give a break. Last week a lady came by me at 55/35. I stopped her and she was from out of town visiting her sister. She just came from a 55 zone that turns into 35 and since she wasn't familiar with the road I gave her the benefit of the doubt and gave her a warning.

samseed101
09-11-04, 08:12 PM
I almost never write for anything less than I stopped them for. I tried that for a bit, and I got tired of cutting people a break only to have them go to court and contest the lower charge. Once that happened a few times, I just started writing everyone for what they were actually doing. It's the only fair way to do business.
Same exact situation here. They go to court and then want the charges reduced even more. So now, I just write them for exactly what they were doing.

LidaRose
09-11-04, 10:22 PM
Ha Ha... :rolleyes: .I don't even waste my time pulling them over unless they're doing at least 15+. That's what's sad about TN, I give about 90% of the driving population a break by setting my "pull-over" speed to about 15 over and I still don't have any problems nailing em. Where I'm at, they average about 10-15 over the posted limit. I think we have one of the worst driving populations in this state. ;)

Remind me not to visit Nashville after all, scott! LOL Think maybe I'll skip that trip...

LR ~ whose hubby's from Nashville, TN

Bearcat06
09-12-04, 01:23 AM
I guess I am one of the few that does write down. Attuitude is everything. If I approach the vehicle and have a positive contact, more than likely you will get written down. If you are pissy with me or try to argue, you will get written for what I observed when I checked your speed with my RADAR. I will also go on my seatbelt kick where if you are not buckled up when I stop you for speeding, I will issue you a summons for the seatbelt instead of the speed. I think I do that at times just to irrate my Chief who's all about stats. :D

keitht83
09-13-04, 01:28 AM
I dont write down lower speeds. If i clocked you at 62/50 then thats what goes on you ticket or warning. 59-62mph 50 yeah your getting stopped but probably just a written warning anything over 63-64 in a 50 and you will probably be getting a ticket. Just depends on your attitude. my highest todate is 75 in a 50 and 63 in a 40. got to love those

mcsap
09-13-04, 01:29 AM
You don't have to like me but it may pay off to be nice to me anyway. :)

Aggie
09-13-04, 05:07 PM
I got a warning once for 72 in a 55 and a citation for no insurance (which was dismissed without cost upon mailing the court a copy). I count my blessings. LEOs are cool.

Jeff L
10-11-04, 07:16 AM
I'm still bitter at everyone getting warnings ;) . The vast majority of my run in's have been with State Police and the only warnings I ever get are for < 10 mph.

Johninaustin
10-11-04, 12:14 PM
10 MPH over here, and what I see is what you get. I constantly work STEP, (great overtime) and don't even use a radar most of the time, I just pace them. :D I have one particular stretch of highway with turnarounds, I just spend all night going in circles. It's a great place for DWI's too.

txinvestigator1
10-11-04, 12:39 PM
10 MPH over here, and what I see is what you get. I constantly work STEP, (great overtime) and don't even use a radar most of the time, I just pace them. :D I have one particular stretch of highway with turnarounds, I just spend all night going in circles. It's a great place for DWI's too.


Where might be John? :p

Johninaustin
10-11-04, 12:46 PM
Where might be John? :p


Mopac. (loop 0ne) From the Braker exit to the Rollingwood Exit. Esp. when everyone is heading down to 6th st in the evenings. I pace people at 30 over routinely. Great DWI territory after 2 am.

txinvestigator1
10-11-04, 01:13 PM
Mopac. (loop 0ne) From the Braker exit to the Rollingwood Exit. Esp. when everyone is heading down to 6th st in the evenings. I pace people at 30 over routinely. Great DWI territory after 2 am.

I know that area. It is like a race track. Get 'em.

Plus, I never use MoPac when I drive through Austin. :D

KaiGywer
06-08-05, 04:09 AM
Here in Minnesota, if you get a ticket for less than 10 over in a 55 or higher, it will not be on your record. You will get a ticket, and have to pay it, but it won't show up anywhere as long as its paid. Cops will sometimes write the speed down to 10 over in order to give people this break. Reduces the chance of them taking it to court, and if they do, the speed will just be raised to the original, which of course is written on the ticket.

txinvestigator1
06-08-05, 12:57 PM
Reduces the chance of them taking it to court,

8 months...........

And it does NOT reduce the chance, as most policemen here will tell you. :rolleyes:

cntryboy0531
06-12-05, 09:58 PM
My one and only ticket I got, I was doing 69 in a 55. It just changed down to a 55 from a 65 and I didn't see the sign. Trooper pulled me over, I didn't give him a problem. He asked for my info, turned around and said he didnt need my insurance card, said he was gonna cut me a break on the ticket.. Came back and said he wrote me for 64mph in a 55mph zone and said that if I take it to court and contest it, he'll tell the judge I was really doing 69mph. Hell, he even was nice enough to ask if I had any questions for him. :D

TPDHellhound
06-13-05, 05:38 AM
I do it all the time. The reason I do it is because of option 3: The reason for writing tickets is to change behavior for the violator and for the people watching you cite the violator. There's a point where writing a ticket actually becomes counter-productive. This point changes from person to person, has three categories, and can generally be seen when the violator discusses the violation after the fact.

The contact is:

1) Too lenient: The violator comes off talking how they fooled or duped the stupid cop.
2) Too harsh: The violator comes off complaining that they got hammered and has a bad taste about cops from the contact.
3) Just right: The violator drives away thanking the officer that he/she was so nice, even though they got a traffic coupon or two.

The tricky part is gauging where your violator stands on this table.

And the other reason I do it is because Courts generally categorize the fines. For example:

1-10mph over = $150
11-20mph over = $250
21+ = $500

I will stop someone for driving 19mph over and drop it to 11mph. The fine is the same. Or I'll drop 15 over to 10 and save them 100 bucks. It's all the same to me... they still got caught and still will pay a fine.