Imagine checking your mailbox and seeing the appointment letter for the job you recently applied for. You are just about to celebrate this victory but then decide to read the remaining mails. It is when you see a speeding or traffic violation ticket, which may cost you over $300, depending on the offense and the state you live in.
There will be a lot of thoughts in your mind. Did you over speed? Was there a traffic light violation? Did you drive in the wrong lane or switch lanes illegally? All these thoughts, and then you suddenly ask yourself, police didn’t try to pull you over anywhere. Where did you do it? Or can you get a ticket without being pulled over? Here is what you need to know.
Can You Get a Ticket Without Being Pulled Over?
The law may vary from state to state, but generally, Yes, the police can send you a ticket for speeding violations or other traffic violations without pulling you over. But why didn’t the police follow you or pull you over if you break traffic rules?
How Do The Cops Clock Your Speed While Driving?
First, it is highly possible that the cops had caught you overspeeding with the help of a simple or radar speed gun. If they get your license plate number, they may not chase you, or they may have more important affairs to attend to.
Remember, it is not just the speeding issue; the police may catch you changing lanes unlawfully or driving in the wrong lane. They may also get you due to breaking traffic signals. You may also get a ticket for unlawfully passing a school bus.
Many states provide cops with car-mounted radar units (installable on the front or back of the vehicle) that can easily track your speed. These radar units can catch fleeing drivers at high speed too.
Apart from that, law enforcers in many states and localities mount high-end cameras on traffic lights. These cameras can easily catch you passing through the lights when they turn red. Modern-day cameras can also detect the vehicle’s speed, so if you are overspeeding or driving in the wrong lane, the cameras will get you immediately.
Where Do The Police Send The Ticket?
So now you know, “can you get a ticket without being pulled over.” There is another question to answer; who will get the ticket? For example, it is highly possible that someone else is driving your vehicle at that time. Or, who would get the ticket if you were driving a rented car?
The traffic light camera or radar units mounted on the police vehicle catch the license plate number of the vehicle. The police will mail the ticket to the owner(s) of the vehicle. So, if someone rented or borrowed your vehicle, you will receive the ticket.
If you rent a vehicle, the rental company will receive the ticket, and you will have to pay for it. The car rental company may also provide your driver’s license information to the cops if needed, and you may get demerit points for traffic violations.
On the other hand, if someone borrowed your vehicle when you got the ticket, you can submit a document declaring that you weren’t driving at that time. The document is usually signed under penalty of perjury, a declaration of no responsibility or non-driving.
However, be noted that the count may ask you (fill out a form) who was driving the vehicle. It can create constitutional problems. For example, if your under-aged kids were driving the car when you got the ticket, you may land into more problems. There are other ways to fight a traffic violation ticket, and it is better to get professional legal assistance if you intend to do it.
How Do Police Prove A Speeding Offense?
How do the police prove a speeding offense or allegations? If the police catch you on camera, you will;
- An image/photograph of the incident
- Calibration certificate for the device, and
- Certificate of training for the operator (if it is a manually operated device)
Similarly, if there is no photographic evidence related to the allegations, but the cops caught you with the help of a hand-held speed gun, you can expect;
- A photograph of the speed gun (camera display) taken by the cop
- Training certificate of the officer
- Calibration Certificate
What Are Your Rights If You Get A Ticket Without Being Pulled Over?
If you get a ticket without being pulled over, you can:
Request The Calibration Certificate For The Equipment Of The Speed Camera
You can request the calibration certificate. However, there is no obligation for the police to give you complete evidence unless the case gets to the court. Many law enforcement agencies/police forces share copies of calibration certificates on their official websites.
Request Video Evidence Of The Incident
Again, you can request video evidence of the incident, but the police are entitled not to entertain your request. That’s because the photos taken by the police would normally be enough for proof.
However, the police will have to produce the video if you can challenge the photography on solid grounds. That said, if the police (in the photograph) has not specifically targeted the license plate number and there is another car or vehicle in the image, it will create doubt. Simply, the camera may have caught/noted the speed of another vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you get a ticket without being pulled over?
A: Yes, the police can send you a ticket for violating any traffic rule without pulling you over.
Q: How do police catch you breaking traffic codes/regulations?
A: Police can create visual evidence (photo and video) of traffic violations through traffic cameras installed on traffic signals and radar units mounted on police vehicles.
Q: Can you challenge tickets in court?
A: Yes, you can, but it is recommended not to do that unless you have solid ground to initiate proceedings.
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