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liko
06-09-2011, 12:18 AM
Hi, I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but I got a ticket today earlier because my license plate didn't light up. I was given right off the bat a ticket (instead of a warning for a first timer never been stopped since that day). I wanted to get some feedback if I should pay it or fight it. I feel have very high chances to win because it was the first time ever to be stopped and how can I know that the back of the license plate (the light)is not working. I kind of found it unfair to be my first time and than I have to go (did research) the police station or sheriff and pay around $15 bucks and than pay the court around $25 dollars that is $40 dollars right of the bat. Any feed back of what recommendations (I have tones of time) what I want to know is there a high chance I will win if I go or does it get worse if I lose and end up paying more? I live in California

Falconis
06-09-2011, 12:21 AM
You dont have to go there. Just find a cop that isn't enganged in any duties and ask him to inspect your car and sign off on the ticket. The court fees are unavoidable.

If you feel you have a high chance of winning, go for it. Your assertion of fairness and all the reasons you mentioned are incorrect however IMO.

liko
06-09-2011, 12:33 AM
You dont have to go there. Just find a cop that isn't enganged in any duties and ask him to inspect your car and sign off on the ticket. The court fees are unavoidable.

If you feel you have a high chance of winning, go for it. Your assertion of fairness and all the reasons you mentioned are incorrect however IMO.

Thanks for the fast response really appreciate it. How can I get a cop to write of the ticket? Can it be any time or what would you recommend? I don't mind paying the ticket, but I don't want to pay a cop than pay the court. I really appreciate the advice. I feel I would win this case just because it was the first time ever getting stop by a law enforcement in my life and not even giving me a warning (also since the light is on the back how would I know if its not working when I wasn't warned).

jgraham7897
06-09-2011, 12:49 AM
A warning is not required but is a courtesy. It is your job to make sure that all lights are working properly on your vehicle.

Falconis
06-09-2011, 12:52 AM
Ok, you seem to be about 20 years old so I'll be nice to you.

It doesnt matter if it is your first offense or your 20th offense. The violation still occurred. It is also your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is in full working order at all times. A cop's discretion is not automatically granted to you because you are a good person. It's HIS decision to make, not your expectation.

You can try waiting for a cop outside a courthouse as he is walking out. Other than that, I dont know where you live or where you are.

You should have read the forum rules here first. 3. This is NOT a place to air your dislike of the Government, Law Enforcement, LEOs in general or the law in general. Doing so here will result in losing access to this forum.

Bottom line is that your car wasnt working properly. You got a ticket. It sucked. Asking us questions (fishing expedition) that are rather pointless isnt going to win you any friends around here.

liko
06-09-2011, 12:52 AM
A warning is not required but is a courtesy. It is your job to make sure that all lights are working properly on your vehicle.

meh would of been nice to get a courtesy I was acting very chill with him.

jgraham7897
06-09-2011, 1:01 AM
meh would of been nice to get a courtesy I was acting very chill with him.

It would have been nice but by the letter of the law you got a valid ticket. Just get it written off and pay the court.

liko
06-09-2011, 1:07 AM
Ok, you seem to be about 20 years old so I'll be nice to you.

It doesnt matter if it is your first offense or your 20th offense. The violation still occurred. It is also your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is in full working order at all times. A cop's discretion is not automatically granted to you because you are a good person. It's HIS decision to make, not your expectation.

You can try waiting for a cop outside a courthouse as he is walking out. Other than that, I dont know where you live or where you are.

You should have read the forum rules here first. 3. This is NOT a place to air your dislike of the Government, Law Enforcement, LEOs in general or the law in general. Doing so here will result in losing access to this forum.

Bottom line is that your car wasnt working properly. You got a ticket. It sucked. Asking us questions (fishing expedition) that are rather pointless isnt going to win you any friends around here.

Almost in my mid 20's. Well I will see what I will do (if I can get an opportunity to get it write off at least). I am not disliking the Government at all just find it unfair that's all and I guess I was told wrong since I always though there was a first time freebie, but I guess not. I was seeking advice that is all (with people more experience in this area).


It would have been nice but by the letter of the law you got a valid ticket. Just get it written off and pay the court.

Thats what it seems I will do.

JS89
06-09-2011, 1:30 AM
This is what I am getting from your post. First, you were expecting a warning and secondly, you find it hard taking responsibility for properly maintaining your vehicle. The courts don't care if this is the first time that you were stopped for the violation. The fact of the matter is that you were breaking the law, regardless if you knew you were.

TRICKSTER
06-09-2011, 2:36 AM
Was the light working? If it was and you have the time, try taking it to court. Just be aware that the fact that you never got a ticket before is irrelevant, all that matters to the court is if the light was or wasn't working.

If the light wasn't working, then fix it, get it signed off and pay the court fees. You were driving, your responsible. It's up to you to make sure the car is up to code. Checking/maintaining the equipment on your vehicle is all part of being a responsible driver.

Either way, it's just a fix it ticket, don't try to turn it into more than it really is.

liko
06-09-2011, 5:59 AM
Was the light working? If it was and you have the time, try taking it to court. Just be aware that the fact that you never got a ticket before is irrelevant, all that matters to the court is if the light was or wasn't working.

If the light wasn't working, then fix it, get it signed off and pay the court fees. You were driving, your responsible. It's up to you to make sure the car is up to code. Checking/maintaining the equipment on your vehicle is all part of being a responsible driver.

Either way, it's just a fix it ticket, don't try to turn it into more than it really is.

Ya I don't want to get into a hassal if by going to court and really don't like my agruementive over it. I did do some research and apparently CHP writes them off (without a fee) so I will go have it clear there and pay the administrative fee. Thanks

SVT-40
06-09-2011, 2:03 PM
Cops in the field cannot sign off citations. It can only be done at a station or office. A stamp, in addition to the signature is needed.

ckim34
06-09-2011, 2:40 PM
Cops in the field cannot sign off citations. It can only be done at a station or office. A stamp, in addition to the signature is needed.

I do it all the time in the field......and so do my co workers and pretty much every cop in my county.

Falconis
06-09-2011, 2:44 PM
i do it too

except when i am already conducting a car stop and am busy. damn morons.

RollingCode3
06-09-2011, 3:07 PM
i do it too

except when i am already conducting a car stop and am busy. damn morons.

:p lol

TurboChrisB
06-09-2011, 3:26 PM
Huh? Since when? I think you're incorrect on that one.


Cops in the field cannot sign off citations. It can only be done at a station or office. A stamp, in addition to the signature is needed.

ckim34
06-09-2011, 3:27 PM
Ok, you seem to be about 20 years old so I'll be nice to you.
It doesnt matter if it is your first offense or your 20th offense. The violation still occurred. It is also your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is in full working order at all times. A cop's discretion is not automatically granted to you because you are a good person. It's HIS decision to make, not your expectation.

You can try waiting for a cop outside a courthouse as he is walking out. Other than that, I dont know where you live or where you are.

You should have read the forum rules here first. 3. This is NOT a place to air your dislike of the Government, Law Enforcement, LEOs in general or the law in general. Doing so here will result in losing access to this forum.

Bottom line is that your car wasnt working properly. You got a ticket. It sucked. Asking us questions (fishing expedition) that are rather pointless isnt going to win you any friends around here.


Whoa whoa buddy! I'm in my mid 20s and have been a po po for 3 years, dont lump everyone in my generation in one group :D

Falconis
06-09-2011, 4:30 PM
Never included you. I was just pointing the OP out. Little jumpy there aren't ya?

ckim34
06-09-2011, 4:44 PM
Just having a little fun!:biggrinjester:

TRICKSTER
06-09-2011, 5:46 PM
Cops in the field cannot sign off citations. It can only be done at a station or office. A stamp, in addition to the signature is needed.
Must be a regional thing, I signed off tickets in the field all the time.

TRICKSTER
06-09-2011, 5:51 PM
Whoa whoa buddy! I'm in my mid 20s and have been a po po for 3 years, dont lump everyone in my generation in one group :D

Start early, retire early. I started at 21, retired at 51. The only weird part is when you get towards the end of your career and are working with someone who wasn't even born when you became a cop.

Cokebottle
06-09-2011, 5:58 PM
Fight it and win and it'll still cost you $30.
Buddy of mine was "dismissed" on a loud pipes ticket, still cost him $30.
But you won't win it because you were guilty. Whether or not you feel that you should have gotten a warning or not, you were still operating a motor vehicle with malfunctioning lighting.

I've had 5 tickets for every "warning" Ive received.
I've received tickets when I felt I should have received a warning.
I've received warnings when I known damned well that I deserved a ticket.

How can you know?
At least once a week, check your lights.
How do you check your backup lights?
Go to a strip mall at night after they are closed and drive a circle in the parking lot, using the windows as mirrors to observe your lights.

1-M-42
06-09-2011, 6:41 PM
I worked motors and patrol for 20 +, signed them off in the field all the time, if someone approached me and asked a favor, no problem, it took 20 seconds. I work inside now, still sign off tickets, no stamp, never heard of that one. Just the CVC section corrected, the date, my agency and my signature.
For the OP, dude it was a fix it ticket, you are making way too much of it. Your light was out, own it. Get it fixed, get it signed off, pay the court administrative fees and move on. It doesn't affect your driving record (unless you don't take care of it).
Good luck.

Falconis
06-09-2011, 7:19 PM
Just having a little fun!:biggrinjester:

I know :D Sorry forgot the smiley face .... lol

IrishJoe3
06-09-2011, 7:35 PM
I do it all the time in the field......and so do my co workers and pretty much every cop in my county.

I do it all the time as well.....maybe its a county thing?

Roddd
06-09-2011, 7:59 PM
You got a fix-it ticket...so fix it. Buy a new bulb for 3 bucks and send your payment. There's no way the cop would have known how many times you've been pulled over. This really isn't a big deal dude.

SVT-40
06-09-2011, 9:07 PM
Huh? Since when? I think you're incorrect on that one.

Maybe LA county is different from other counties? Sorry I guess I jumped that conclusion.... But due to forged signatures as far as I know in LA county there must also be a official stamp placed along with a signature. At least there was when I retired. A few years ago.

notme92069
06-09-2011, 9:11 PM
Hi, I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but I got a ticket today earlier because my license plate didn't light up. I was given right off the bat a ticket (instead of a warning for a first timer never been stopped since that day). I wanted to get some feedback if I should pay it or fight it. I feel have very high chances to win because it was the first time ever to be stopped and how can I know that the back of the license plate (the light)is not working. I kind of found it unfair to be my first time and than I have to go (did research) the police station or sheriff and pay around $15 bucks and than pay the court around $25 dollars that is $40 dollars right of the bat. Any feed back of what recommendations (I have tones of time) what I want to know is there a high chance I will win if I go or does it get worse if I lose and end up paying more? I live in California

Deserves has nothing to do with it. Seriously, I believe the motor vehicle code does not allow for intent.

Ron-Solo
06-09-2011, 9:12 PM
If it was Los Angeles County the courts will NOT accept the ticket signed off in the field. They require a certificate of correction or CHP stamp. This is due to high amounts of fraud.

This has been the policy for many years.

Eat Dirt
06-09-2011, 9:17 PM
For the OP, dude it was a fix it ticket, you are making way too much of it. Your light was out, own it. Get it fixed, get it signed off, pay the court administrative fees and move on. It doesn't affect your driving record (unless you don't take care of it).
Good luck.

That !!!!!!!!!!

Hey Ron.........
How that Retirement thing going ....Any wild Bingo stories yet ??

Ron-Solo
06-09-2011, 9:26 PM
That !!!!!!!!!!

Hey Ron.........
How that Retirement thing going ....Any wild Bingo stories yet ??

Got a house full of grandkids for the next week. :D Gota busy week planned with them. Had the oldest with us last week and during that time we went shooting at Rainbow, toured a gold mine in Julian, went sky sailing in a glider in Warner Springs, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, and Soak City in Palm Springs.

Going back to Soak City next week and a camping trip in Idyllwild, and some other fun places.

I don't know where I found time to work. :D

liko
06-09-2011, 11:48 PM
Thanks for the post bulb was exchange works fine. I talked to my boss today and was very generous to pay part of the ticket (I guess he felt guilt since I was working). Thanks for all the post really appreciate it now I just need to have it checked by a CHP and pay the court.

Spyder
06-10-2011, 9:02 AM
Man, you used up your first time freebie on a license plate light ticket? I used mine on a hit and run dui! :D

Notorious
06-10-2011, 9:56 AM
I don't usually give tickets for equipment violations unless the driver was an asshat and wouldn't own up to it. If someone with a tail light out was straight with me and just said sorry, I didn't know and I will take care it asap, I would probably just let them go.

However, I did write one up for that same violation. The driver was combative as soon as I walked up and started with the why did you pull me over and got all indignant. Now if the driver just let me explain the situation and remain calm, it would have been a warning.

But being argumentative and then fighting me when I try to explain the situation does not show me any reason to give a warning.

chargermeister
06-10-2011, 11:51 AM
I guess the fees went up for fix it tickets. I got a fix it ticket for window tint and no front license plate. I'm allowed to have the window tint because of an eye condition, and the front license plate was because I never got one from the DMV. I didn't complain though. I asked a police officer that was finishing up some paperwork at a local coffee house a few weeks later and he was nice enough to sign off on both after showing him my doctors letter. It was only ten dollars then, I guess now you have to pay court costs on top of the fee?

MaHoTex
06-10-2011, 12:00 PM
There is no bypass for window tint... found that out a couple months ago.

IntoForever
06-10-2011, 12:39 PM
OP, you should get in the habit of checking your vehicle once a week. I check everything on Fridays after work... right before I load up and go to the shooting range. I also keep spare bulbs with me and fix anything immediately so I don't have to get pulled over for something lame like not checking/fixing my lights.

chargermeister
06-10-2011, 6:36 PM
There is no bypass for window tint... found that out a couple months ago.

Are you sure there is no bypass for window tint in California? The only reason I ask is because I have photophobia and the doctor wrote a letter for me to keep in the car, as well as sent a letter to the DMV so that they have it on record. I'm not sure if it's something at an officers discretion that they can let it go since it's in the system?

I've been through a few times checkpoints, and got a warning for speeding in the past year and they inquired about the window tint. I let them know my doctor sent a letter to the DMV and showed them the letter when I gave them my registration and drivers license. I didn't get any ticket for the window tint and was on my way. From what I understand now, front license plate as well as window tint are no longer just fix it tickets. Although you still have to get them fixed, you also have to pay the fine. If you reapply tint, or never had it removed and get another ticket the fine increases and they can charge you with other offenses. My friend had this happen to him.

FLIGHT762
06-10-2011, 6:59 PM
Are you sure there is no bypass for window tint in California? The only reason I ask is because I have photophobia and the doctor wrote a letter for me to keep in the car, as well as sent a letter to the DMV so that they have it on record. I'm not sure if it's something at an officers discretion that they can let it go since it's in the system?

I've been through a few times checkpoints, and got a warning for speeding in the past year and they inquired about the window tint. I let them know my doctor sent a letter to the DMV and showed them the letter when I gave them my registration and drivers license. I didn't get any ticket for the window tint and was on my way. From what I understand now, front license plate as well as window tint are no longer just fix it tickets. Although you still have to get them fixed, you also have to pay the fine. If you reapply tint, or never had it removed and get another ticket the fine increases and they can charge you with other offenses. My friend had this happen to him.


He is correct, there is no bypass for permanently tinted windows.
If you have a medical condition that requires you to be shaded, you are allowed to have removable sun screening device. It has to be removed during darkness. This is spelled out in 26708(10) which reads:

10) Sun screening devices meeting the requirements of Section 26708.2 installed on the side windows on either side of the vehicle’s front seat, if the driver or a passenger in the front seat has in his or her possession a letter or other document signed by a licensed physician and surgeon certifying that the person must be shaded from the sun due to a medical condition, or has in his or her possession a letter or other document signed by a licensed optometrist certifying that the person must be shaded from the sun due to a visual condition. The devices authorized by this paragraph shall not be used during darkness.


The sun screening requirements are here in 26708.2 :

Sun Screening Devices: Requirements

26708.2. Sun screening devices permitted by paragraph (10) of subdivision (b) of Section 26708 shall meet the following requirements:

(a) The devices shall be held in place by means allowing ready removal from the window area, such as a frame, a rigid material with temporary fasteners, or a flexible roller shade.

(b) Devices utilizing transparent material shall be green, gray, or a neutral smoke in color and shall have a luminous transmittance of not less than 35 percent.

(c) Devices utilizing nontransparent louvers or other alternating patterns of opaque and open sections shall have an essentially uniform pattern over the entire surface, except for framing and supports. At least 35 percent of the device area shall be open and no individual louver or opaque section shall have a projected vertical dimension exceeding 3/16 inch.

(d) The devices shall not have a reflective quality exceeding 35 percent on either the inner or outer surface.

Added Ch. 74, Stats. 1984. Effective January 1, 1985.


Many times, people go to Court and get by or get a pass due to an uninformed Traffic Commissioner or Pro Tem.

It is specifically spelled out by law that persons needing shading from the sun are allowed to have those removable devices as specified in 26708.2.

Notorious
06-11-2011, 9:06 AM
You can have a stick on window tint or shade device for medical reasons but it must be removeable.

Hopalong
06-12-2011, 6:58 AM
I don't usually give tickets for equipment violations unless the driver was an asshat and wouldn't own up to it. If someone with a tail light out was straight with me and just said sorry, I didn't know and I will take care it asap, I would probably just let them go.

However, I did write one up for that same violation. The driver was combative as soon as I walked up and started with the why did you pull me over and got all indignant. Now if the driver just let me explain the situation and remain calm, it would have been a warning.

But being argumentative and then fighting me when I try to explain the situation does not show me any reason to give a warning.
Well done sir, I like the use of this discretion.

Although I obviously was not there

The OP seems like a nice, respectful, young man.

To write any, end every ticket, just because you can

Seems counterproductive in the long run

In terms of public relations, and alienation of the citizenry.

Notorious
06-12-2011, 8:52 AM
Well done sir, I like the use of this discretion.

Although I obviously was not there

The OP seems like a nice, respectful, young man.

To write any, end every ticket, just because you can

Seems counterproductive in the long run

In terms of public relations, and alienation of the citizenry.

If I really had to count, I think I ticket at most 1 or 2 out of every 10 stops. Even the ones who want to lie and deny they know what they did, I just tell them, "I know what I saw. If you tell me the truth, it's going to be easier."

That gets about 1/2 of them to just confess that they did it, whatever it may be... running stop sign, no signal when changing lanes, tinted windows, no seatbelt, etc. I don't pull people over on things that I am not sure of. If I didn't see it clearly that they did something that violated the CVC, I let it go. Unless I was looking for a suspect or something, then that's different.

If they confess on the first chance I give them, I will usually cut them a break too. Those that fight and are adamant that I was wrong get the ticket and 45-60 days to see me again in court.

MaHoTex
06-12-2011, 9:11 AM
How come, the few times I have been pulled over, I did not get Notorious as the officer?!?! Geesh , I always get the short straw.

Notorious
06-12-2011, 7:21 PM
The thing is that we are not under the gun to produce in terms of moving violations but rather, they look at our overall productivity as far as everything that we do. That gives us more latitude as far as how we do things or what we have to do when we are out in the field.

Notorious
06-12-2011, 7:27 PM
Oh, another thing that is out there and I totally understand the reasoning, is that people are being taught to only produce the documents and to not say anything to the officer because anything you admit to on a traffic stop can be used against you later in court.

I hear traffic schools teaching that line and lots of self-appointed street lawyers telling people the above. While it's true, it gives the officer zero reason to want to give you a warning.

It is a gamble though because if you do talk, you might admit everything and have it used against you, but if you don't talk, then you might get a ticket because the officer has no reason not to. It's a tough choice.