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  1. #1
    donnie999's Avatar
    donnie999 is offline Officer
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    License plate light

    All,

    I was stopped yesterday for a license plate light that was not working. I was very pissed that I got a ticket for this mainly cause I have not had a ticket in five years of any kind. I was courteous to the officer, I asked him not to give me a ticket and. that I got a five year streak going. He still gave me a ticket for what I think is a petty thing. How often are any of you in the back of your car when its on? A simple warning would have sufficed. Now I have to take time off that I dont have to go to court for this and its going to be dismissed anyway.

    Do the POs on this board give license plate light tickets? Is it really that big of a deal? Maybe I am missing the point of getting a ticket instead of a "Sir you light is out on your plates."

    Sorry for the rant
    Don
    Last edited by donnie999; 12-27-2004 at 10:45.
    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."- Sherlock Holmes

  2. #2
    irishlad is offline Lieutenant
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnie999
    All,

    I was stopped yesterday for a license plate light that was not working. I was very pissed that I got a ticket for this mainly cause I have not had a ticket in five years of any kind. I was courteous to the officer, I asked him that I got a five year streak going and he still gave me a ticket for what I think is a petty thing. How often are any of you in the back of your car when its on? A simple warning would have sufficed. Now I have to take time off that I dont have to go to court for this and its going to be dismissed anyway.

    Do the POs on this board give license plate light tickets? Is it really that big of a deal? Maybe I am missing the point of getting a ticket instead of a "Sir you light is out on your plates."

    Sorry for the rant
    Don
    Wow in Maryland its just an Equipment Repair Order, which means you can fix it yourself, then go to a local Police Dept and get it signed off that you had it fixed, or...go to a certified repair shop and they can sign off for you. I use to just have sombody if it was a tag light out, jiggle it some and it would come back on , same goes with other light around the car...i mean shooot Maryland State Police don't even use their tag lights...go figure...sorry to hear you got a ticket!

  3. #3
    Chaser199's Avatar
    Chaser199 is offline Field Marshal
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    In five years in uniform I never wrote anyone a ticket for having a license plate light out. I did however use it as PC (probable cause) to pull over vehicles for investigatory stops.

    You got a bum deal.

  4. #4
    PEACE's Avatar
    PEACE is offline Chief
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    When I was a patrol officer, the only tag lights I wrote were if they were the PC for a stop that resulted in an arrest (ie found dope, guns, a warrant).
    Better a hundred enemies outside the tent, than one inside.

    - Arabian proverb

  5. #5
    governor's Avatar
    governor is offline Just a Moderator
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    I wrote them as a break from more expensive tickets or wrote them to document my PC on an arrest that resulted from the stop.

    For example, I would stop someone for speeding and cut them a break on the $200 moving violation and right them the "fix-it" ticket.
    This is the law. The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defeat. The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental. - John Steinbeck

  6. #6
    donnie999's Avatar
    donnie999 is offline Officer
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    I can surely understand stopping for PC, but I am clean I am not going to do anything to wreck my chances to be a PO. I am still hot under the collar cause I have to go to court for it. Goodness, well what comes around goes around. I will fix it if he would have told me it was out.

    I am looking at the Illinois vehicle code and it says "It shall be unlawful to operate or park on any street any vehicle not equipped with adequate lights conforming to the requirements of State law." It is very broad so that makes it a legit stop right?

    Don
    Last edited by donnie999; 12-27-2004 at 11:02.
    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."- Sherlock Holmes

  7. #7
    Mo Trooper's Avatar
    Mo Trooper is offline Moderator
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    Wow, someone is hard up for a ticket, or there is more to the story.
    I would go to court, and ask the judge to dismiss it, or talk to the prosecutor ahead of time. No one should have to pay a fine for this, unless there are other circumstances along with it.

  8. #8
    irishlad is offline Lieutenant
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnie999
    I can surely understand stopping for PC, but I am clean I am not going to do anything to wreck my chances to be a PO. I am still hot under the collar cause I have to go to court for it. Goodness, well what comes around goes around. I will fix it if he would have told me it was out.

    I am looking at the Illinois vehicle code and it says "It shall be unlawful to operate or park on any street any vehicle not equipped with adequate lights conforming to the requirements of State law." It is very broad so that makes it a legit stop right?

    Don
    I believe its a legit stop in any state perhaps? Except in Maryland,, with you being out of state I cannot issue you a Repair Order, but I know i Pa, you can get written up and then you haver to make sure you go to the place closest to where you got the citation/repair order to get it signed off, but as others have said, like myself, I would only use a headlight, tag-light for PC on a stop, not just for the h*ll of it! Just out of curiousity, where were u when it happened, how much is the ticket and were there any other circumstances of why they stopped you? And to me, like I said in a previous post, get out a jiggle it, it may come back on...and another thing, was it both taglights or just one?

  9. #9
    donnie999's Avatar
    donnie999 is offline Officer
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    I had just come out the gas station going down a residential street. Turned onto the main street. He said " i stopped you because your license plate light is out." No more to the story.

    I assume he thinks that I am one of those youngsters who hang out on the corner just standing there doing nothing. In the summer, in the winter they walk up and down the street doing nothing. My mom happens to live on that block, the residential street I mentioned earlier. The police stop them everytime i see them and the summer is especially bad.

    I didnt know I can go out there and wiggle it and it may come on. I will try it, but in the mean time i will wait for court waste time and money i dont have.

    Thanks for all your replies.
    Don
    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."- Sherlock Holmes

  10. #10
    COBRA90GT's Avatar
    COBRA90GT is offline Rookie
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    A license plate ticket won't stop you from becoming a PO, don't worry about it too much. Just correct the problem (change the bulb or break out the test light to chase a poor ground/electrical connection if necessary). Most guys will use a plate light out as PC for a stop (as previously mentioned), but rarely write it - unless they really are sticklers for minor equipment violations. LOL Just take care of it at court...

  11. #11
    Brettkazcop Guest
    In Illinois it is a an offense you can write a citation for, it is 12-201(c), no rear registration plate light. You could write a citation for almost everything in the Illinois Vehicle Code (IVC) but it doesn't mean everyone goes out and does it.

    I agree with what most of the other officers have posted. I tend to use "small" equipment violations such as that one for PC for my stop if I need to initiate contact on a car if I think he/she may be drunk, on/have drugs, or up to no good.....or if I just want to write some warnings. I personally would never just pull over a no rear registration plate light/or one head light, etc. and issue a citation for it. Tinted windows are another story though since so many people get them put on knowing they are illegal, a lot of people try to roll down their windows really fast when they see a cop car which looks silly when it is 2 degrees out.

    But all you can really do now unfortunately is just try to run with what you got. Buy a new light, keep the receipt, install it...take a picture if you want. Bring that all into court. Possibly try and call the prosecutor and see if you can mail/fax in those items to try and expedite the process for them and not waste a day of work for you.

    Good luck man. Life seems to be full of these head vs. wall moments

    If it makes you feel any better I got a ticket about 6 or 7 years ago going 38 in a 30 heading down a hill...I had cruise set at 35 and it just picked up a few mph down the hill. I told the officer I was appling to be a PO in the next few years when I got out of college and was very very courteous. But she wouldn't have it. Still got the ticket. Something I can laugh at now...but at the time I was very perplexed.
    Last edited by Brettkazcop; 12-27-2004 at 17:45.

  12. #12
    NBW791's Avatar
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    I stop people for it all the time. I usually don't write it unless (A) the driver isn't wearing their seatbelt or (B) any other violation needs to be written, such as suspended, no insurance etc. It's a "fix it ticket" in my city. You get it fixed before your court date, bring the ticket and the car to the PD and get it signed off.

    -Nick-

  13. #13
    dutch9277's Avatar
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    Equipment violations are a favorite stop of mine. 99 percent of the time I don't write the ticket unless I get something else from the stop. A lot of good arrests have came from equipment violations.

    Here in the great State of Michigan, equipment violations are waivable as long as you get it fixed within 14 days. It's even funnier when people won't get those violations fixed and end up with a warrant and a suspended driver's license. A lot of times those warrants can help you when you are constantly having problems with somebody.

    Hard to say why you got the ticket if all that happened is you pulling out of the gas station. I would get it fixed before going to court though.

  14. #14
    irishlad is offline Lieutenant
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    Well as always, a citation is a ticket of convience for the Officer and suspect...i.e. the ofc. in Texas that arrested the female with her kids for not wearing her seatbelt...but who really wants to waste their time arresting somebody for "improper lane change"...anywho, I still can't believe someone would write for a taglight, but as stated earlier, it will not stop your chances from becoming a LEO...shoot by best friend had a driving record out the butt and stil got on..LOL

  15. #15
    modareguy's Avatar
    modareguy is offline Sergeant
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    I wrote one of those "chicken S$&@" tickets...for improperly aimed headlights. There was much more to it than just writing some grandmother returning from the sewing club meeting who was sweet as can be, yet failed to realize her license plate lamp was not illuminated. The college kid I pulled over tried to BS me about the status of his license after he claimed to not have it on his person, all the while swearing up and down that it was valid. When I told him I was going to run his name, he started to insult me saying all kinds of stupid stuff. I'm not the kind of guy to fly insults back. Why? A word lasts only a mere second and I subscribe to the theory that at times the pen truly is mightier than the sword. So I hit him where it counts, in the pocketbook with an extra ticket (on top of the PC ticket). His license was in fact suspended (that was ticket number two). And yes, the prosecutor did take the ticket for the improperly aimed right headlight (ticket number three).

    And yes the guy did plead guilty to all three....

    Forget world peace, try using a turn signal...


 
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