State by State Law on Arrests For Minor Traffic Violations

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State by State Law on Arrests For Minor Traffic Violations

Post by Consumer Alert on Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:37 pm

Quotes from officers about whether they arrest you or not in certain states.
Courtesy of: http://forums.officer.com/t146124/

CA: Back in Los Angeles, CA without a license and driving a car I was free to arrest you for any traffic violation. Would I? Not likely. But refuse to sign the ticket and you were off to jail. A ticket is merely a promise to appear, in court, on a later date.

FL: A traffic citation is a non-criminal (civil) violation of state or local traffic laws. These infractions are dealt with in our county courts and are heard by traffic magistrates, not judges. There is no right to a jury trial for a non-criminal traffic violation, only the right to a hearing before a magistrate. The State Attorney's Office does not prosecute non-criminal traffic violations. You do not have the right to have an attorney represent you during a non-criminal traffic violation hearing, however you may hire one if you like. If found guilty, you face only points on your driver's license, traffic school, and fines. You cannot be sentenced to probation or jail time for a non-criminal traffic violation. Some examples of non-criminal traffic infractions are speeding, failure to maintain a single lane, running a red light, and failure to stop at a stop sign. Plain and simple, they are just your average run-of-the-mill traffic tickets. Criminal traffic violations are crimes, and if you are issued a written promise to appear by the arresting office, you have just been arrested. Remember - you do not have to be put in handcuffs and taken to jail in order to be arrested. Florida law permits police officers to issue a written promise to appear in misdemeanor cases in lieu of physically arresting an accused person if the accused meets certain criteria. Criminal traffic offenses, while misdemeanors, are still prosecuted by the State Attorney's Office and can subject the accused to up to one year in jail per charge. You have the right to a criminal defense attorney if you are facing jail time for a criminal traffic offense. Unlike traffic infractions, criminal traffic offenses are crimes, therefore can leave you with a criminal record if you do not seal or expunge the arrest. Also, being convicted of a traffic infraction only means points will be assessed against your driver's license. Being convicted of a criminal traffic offense means that you will have a criminal conviction. Some examples of criminal traffic offenses are: Driving While License Suspended (DWLS), No Valid Driver's License (NVDL), Valid Driver's License Restriction (VDLR), Leaving the Scene of an Accident (LSA), and Reckless Driving. DUI, of course, is also a criminal traffic offense, however PTAs are never issued in DUI cases. You will always go to jail when arrested for DUI.

GA: In Ga, You can be taken into custody and have to post a bond on any traffic offense. It is officer's discretion. It is unusual, however, to take someone to jail for something as minor as a 15 dollar seatbelt violation, but I have seen it done.

IA: In Iowa, all traffic offenses are criminal. (Red light camera tickets are the exception to the rule) If you refuse to sign the promise to appear you get to go see the county run Bed & Breakfast. My department had a few "will arrest" offenses (local court rules) Of course OWI, Driving under Suspension, anything after a chase, reckless driving ect just to name a few

IL: In IL you cannot be taken to jail for a speeding ticket. The ILSC ruled many years ago that if the offense is not a jailable offense then a person cannot be held in jail for failing to post a bond.

IN: You can't be arrested for a simple traffic ticket in Indiana, they are civil infractions. Now if you're driving is to the point its a misdemeanor (reckless driving, DUI, driving while suspended, etc.) than you can be arrested as its now a criminal offense."Just" speeding would be a ticket only. Speeding with reckless could be an arrest. A refusal to ID for a speeding ticket could be an arrest. You get the idea.

KS: In Kansas, officers can only arrest for misdemeanors. Infractions are citation only.

LA: On certain traffic offenses, I don't have to issue a citation, I can just go ahead and arrest you and make you post bond.

MN: In MN you can't be arrested for traffic infractions, unless there is some type of endangerment or reckless, which bumps it up to a misd, which is arrestable. In MN traffic infractions are Petty Misd (aka Decriminialized), which you can't arrested for. Possession of a small amount of Marijuana is a Petty Misd, meaning you can't be arrested for it. You'll receive a summons/citation. No signing of citations here.

MO: In Missouri, everything was fair game. You could be arrested for a $10 seat belt ticket if the officer wanted to arrest everyone for that and make them post bond. In Missouri, most things were misdemeanors (crimes), very few infractions in that state.

NC:  Here in NC you can if you're charged with Misdemeanor speeding vs. the infraction. We can arrest for pretty much everything in NC. I don't understand NOT arresting someone that is failing to carry ID and/or can't prove who they are.

NM: In the Land Of Enchantment (New Mexico) you can only be arrested for the following traffic offenses (all fall under the Immediate Apperance of Magistrate 66-8-122)
Reckless driving
Driving on a revoked license for DWI (Only New Mexico residents with NM operating licenses)
DWI
Leaving the scene of an accident
Failure to sign a citation
Person requests immediate appearance
Officer has good cause to believe violator has commited a felony

NY: In NY State, a summons for any offense is "in liu of arrest." Meaning if the officer wants to, you can be arrested.

NV: In NV, yes. Will you? Probably not, depending on a variety of circumstances.

OH: In Ohio unlike some states, all traffic offenses are classified as some type of misdemeanor, usually minor misdemeanors which are only punishable by fine. Not all may agree with this, but I actually like the fact they're classified as misdemeanors because you get the entire panoply of constitutional rights associated with criminal offenses, such as privilege against self-incrimination, double jeopardy, and, especially, presumption of innocence. The only type of civil traffic infractions in Ohio are those detected by those red-light cameras we've all grown to hate. Some more serious traffic offenses may be classified as more severe types of misdemeanors, punishable by a jail sentence, for which you need to get a lawyer. Driving under suspension, OVI, reckless operation, driving without a license, second-offense speeding within a year, and hit-skip, are all more serious types of misdemeanors.

SC: In SC you can be arrested for any traffic violation except No Seatbelt. Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, Driving Under Suspension 2nd or more, and Speeding Over 100 MPH are almost guarantees for going to jail with me.

TN: In TN, traffic violations are also criminal offenses (with red light camera violations being an exception). If you refuse to sign the citation, then yes you can be booked in jail on it.

TX: You can be arrested for any traffic offense in Texas except Open Container and Speeding. You can, however, be arrested for either of those two offenses if you are from a state that's not a member of the NRVC (CA, MI, and AK come immediately to mind), or if you fail to provide a Written Promise to Appear (refuse to sign the ticket)


WA: Here in Washington State, most traffic violations are civil infractions, not crimes. We don't arrest for infractions. However, if the violator is licensed in a state that not a member of the Driver License Compact (Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee) they may be held until they post a bond or appear before a judge. Serious traffic violations, such as DUI, hit and run, and reckless driving are crimes and violators will be cuffed and stuffed.


WI: In Wisconsin, if your an out of state resident, we have the option of bringing you to jail until you post the bond of the citation.


WY: When I worked in WYOMING there were misdemeanors and felonies. Most traffic was a misdemeanor - certain requirements on posting bond, signing citation etc...so yes you could be arrested for a traffic violation depending on your state laws. Would you take someone in for fail to signal

States most likely to give out tickets>

After crunching the numbers, the National Motorists Association found that the state most likely to hand out a traffic ticket is Florida, followed closely by Georgia and Nevada. The state where drivers are least likely to get a traffic ticket is Montana.


Here is the full list of states:
(ranked from most likely to ticket drivers to least likely)
1) Florida
2 tie) Georgia
2 tie) Nevada
4) Texas
5) Alabama
6) Missouri
7) New York
Cool North Carolina
9) District of Columbia
10) New Jersey
11) Louisiana
12) Arizona
13) Mississippi
14) California
15) Maryland
16) Iowa
17) Washington
18) Oklahoma
19) South Carolina
20) Indiana
21) Tennessee
22) Illinois
23) Ohio
24) Kansas
25) Michigan
26) Colorado
27) Delaware
28 tie) Minnesota
28 tie) Virginia
30) Massachusetts
31) Pennsylvania
32) Connecticut
33) Arkansas
34) Wisconsin
35) Vermont
36) Kentucky
37) New Hampshire
38) Hawaii
39) Rhode Island
40) Utah
41) Oregon
42) New Mexico
43) Nebraska
44) Idaho
45) West Virginia
46) Maine
47) Alaska
48) South Dakota
49) North Dakota
50) Wyoming
51) Montana

Forfeiture laws - States Taking Your Money:


http://www.fear.org

Consumer Alert

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Join date: 2013-04-22

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