• The citation is your written promise to appear on or before the date on the ticket. It allows you to be released on your own recognizance (on just your promise to show up). If you refuse to sign, the officer is authorized to (and will) arrest you and bring you before a magistrate. The magistrate will then set a bond for your appearance or release you on your promise to the Court to appear on a future date. Signing a ticket is not an admission of guilt, merely a written promise to appear in court to deal with the ticket. Edited to add: In response to Scottythinks ponderings... Many officers carry an ink pad with them and get a thumbprint on the back of a citation in case there's ever an issue of who signed the ticket, etc. Officers also often won't issue a citation unless there's sufficient proof of identity of the person stopped/cited. [Leading to a whole other violation of failing to carry your license with you when driving. . . ] It's not necessarily the signature itself, but the acknowledgement aspect of signing/receiving the citation that officially puts a person on notice that they have to appear in court on the date specified. An "X" or other mark (including a signature) would be used in case a person failed to show up on the specified date to prove a willful "failure to appear" charge.
  • Each state and law enforcement agency is different. some require your signature, some do not. if a violator refuses to sign the citation, in my state, we merely right on citation.....refused to sign. it is still a legal government document and you must appear in court to answer the charge. of course, if you destroy the citation, in the officers's presence, you will go to jail for destroying government documents and possibly littering.....depending on your actions.
  • you could end up in jail
  • The signature simply verifies you received the ticket and promise to appear in court for the offense. If you refuse to sign the ticket they can hold you in jail until your court date.
  • "The traffic ticket contains an actual notice to you of a pending court date at which you must appear. By signing the ticket, you are providing an acknowledgment of receipt of the "notice to appear." Since the officer is charging you with a violation of law, he could take you into custody. By signing the traffic ticket, you avoid being taken into custody at that time, and are "released on your own recognizance" pending the court date. It is better to sign the traffic ticket and go about your business pending the court date. By signing the traffic ticket, you remain free and retain the right to show up at the hearing to contest the issuance of the citation or summons. A person is free to refuse to sign the traffic ticket; however, the police officer is free to place him/her under arrest and take him/her into custody."
  • In my state, you'd be required to be booked in to jail until you post a cash bond. So add the cost of towing and storing your car until you post bond to the cost of the bond ($2500 cash for a moving violation), and you'll find it's a lot easier to just sign the damn thing.

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