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Quiz 2 - Cops & the Court: Results

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1. Traffic police have favorite locations where they can issue tickets with minimal efforts.

Correct Answer: TRUE.

Your Answer: %$Q1M%

Always be on the lookout for cops on roads that slope downward and freeway on/off ramps. If you see a motorcycle officer in the same location more than once, you can be assured it's a place he frequents.

2. Once pulled over, you should always turn off your engine and place your hands where the approaching officer can view them.

Correct Answer: TRUE.

Your Answer: %$Q2M%

Remarkably, many motorists leave their engine running. This can make any officer nervous since they may suspect you'll drive away suddenly. Turn off your engine and place your hands on the steering wheel as the officer approaches. You want to increase the officer's sense of personal safety and reduce his stress level as soon as possible.

3. Being polite to the officer will help improve your chances of just getting a warning.

Correct Answer: TRUE.

Your Answer: %$Q3M%

Warning or not, there is no reason to be rude to the officer. Being polite is common sense. The more irate you make an officer, the greater the chance he'll look for other infractions such as mechanical violations.

4. Since the officer did not read you your rights, anything you say can NOT be admitted as evidence in court.

Correct Answer: FALSE.

Your Answer: %$Q4M%

Although the officer does not have to read you your rights, anything you say can be used against you in court. The key is to avoid admitting you committed any offense. Remember, if an officer starts off by asking you the classic question, "do you know why I pulled you over," he is trying to get you to admit guilt for the alleged violation. Any admissions are written on the back of the citation to be used in court if necessary, HOWEVER, you may be able to object on the grounds of independent recollection.

5. Over one-half of all drivers who contest their traffic citation are found either not guilty, given a reduced fine or the citation is dismissed.

Correct Answer: TRUE.

Your Answer: %$Q5M%

A majority of contested tickets are either dismissed, found not guilty or the driver is given a reduced fine. According to the National Motorist Association, if just 10 percent of drivers fought their citation, the courts would receive a serious blow financially. In no other class of "crime" is it as profitable for local governments than with traffic ticket fines.

6. With the exception of special circumstances, you typically waive all your rights and options when you plead 'guilty.'

Correct Answer: TRUE.

Your Answer: %$Q6M%

When you plead 'not guilty,' you have many options available that otherwise would be erased.

7. Approximately 1 in 50 drivers cited actually contest their traffic ticket in court.

Correct Answer: TRUE.

Your Answer: %$Q7M%

Most drivers elect traffic school or pay the fine and run the risk of higher insurance premiums for three years, however fighting your traffic ticket can be in your favor.

8. The most optimal time to visit the court clerk to plead "not guilty" is on a Monday morning.

Correct Answer: FALSE.

Your Answer: %$Q8M%

If you live in a metropolitan area, at all costs, try to avoid Mondays or Tuesdays after a holiday. It seems every Tom, Dick and Harry plus their wives visit the court at the beginning of the week. Your best bet: Friday afternoon because most people are concerned with their weekend plans. You'll be in and out of the clerk's office within 5-10 minutes.

9. When contesting a traffic citation, you typically do NOT have the right to collect any evidence from the police department.

Correct Answer: FALSE.

Your Answer: %$Q9M%

As mentioned, officers write notes on the back of their copy of the citation. When you plead not guilty, you have the right to see his ticket log book, back side of the citation and radar manuals and maintenance records. Having the chance to see them may help you in court.

10. In most circumstances, if the officer who cited you does not show up for court trial, your case is dismissed.

Correct Answer: TRUE.

Your Answer: %$Q10M%

Simply request the case be dismissed based on lack of a prosecution witness. Remember: you are not require to incriminate yourself by admitting a traffic violation.


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