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-   -   Troopers without hats (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=89953)

snopes 14 July 2014 04:29 AM

Troopers without hats
 
Comment: Is it true if a State Trooper pulls you over and does not have
his hat on when he gets out of car and comes to your window he cant give
you a ticket.

WildaBeast 14 July 2014 05:05 AM

He can give you a ticket, he just has to do the Safety Dance first.

crocoduck_hunter 14 July 2014 05:05 AM

Man, whoever sent this in was either gullible or desperate.

Crius of CoH 14 July 2014 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter (Post 1832563)
Man, whoever sent this in was either gullible or desperate.

Eh, it wasn't any worse than the "roll cage" thing. Sometimes I think people submit these as a troll, rather than a serious (if mind-bogglingly ignorant) question. :rolleyes:

WildaBeast 14 July 2014 06:59 PM

Well, if I understand correctly a cop has to be in uniform to pull you over, in other words plainclothes officers can't write traffic tickets. I wonder if someone thinks they found a loophole and believes that if the trooper isn't wearing every single piece of the uniform including the hat then he's not technically "in uniform" and therefore can't write tickets. I'm sure it's complete B.S. but I can picture some crackpot or sovereign citizen type trying to make that argument. They seem to like to argue minute technicalities like the thing about the flag having a fringe on it.

hoitoider 14 July 2014 08:31 PM

It could be the person asking this got a ticket from a state trooper w/ no hat on and they're looking for any way to get out of it. I got a speeding ticket years ago where the cop had incorrectly written 'AM' instead of 'PM' for the time and I thought I could get out of it b/c of that. Then I realized I'd pretty much look like an idiot if I tried so I just mailed it in.

overyonder 14 July 2014 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WildaBeast (Post 1832641)
Well, if I understand correctly a cop has to be in uniform to pull you over, in other words plainclothes officers can't write traffic tickets. I wonder if someone thinks they found a loophole and believes that if the trooper isn't wearing every single piece of the uniform including the hat then he's not technically "in uniform" and therefore can't write tickets. I'm sure it's complete B.S. but I can picture some crackpot or sovereign citizen type trying to make that argument. They seem to like to argue minute technicalities like the thing about the flag having a fringe on it.

I'm pretty sure a plain clothes officer can pull you over for an infraction, as long as he shows proof of who he is, via proper identification.

OY

Dark Blue 14 July 2014 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WildaBeast (Post 1832641)
Well, if I understand correctly a cop has to be in uniform to pull you over, in other words plainclothes officers can't write traffic tickets.

I don't know anyplace that this is true. Plain clothes officers typically do not do traffic enforcement as you want a person pulling people over to be easily identifiable as an officer, but at least here they do so on occasion if they see a serious violation.
At least in AZ they have full lawful authority to do so. It's a matter of policy and common practice that they don't/.

RichardM 14 July 2014 09:21 PM

In other words, hat or no hat, it doesn't matter. An officer can write you a ticket. But of course, here in Texas, it might be different. That is to say, it is possible that it is different but I certainly would not be on it. I have seen officers without their hat on writing tickets. In fact, I wouldn't swear that last one that wrote me a ticket had a hat on. I still paid the ticket promptly.

Gayle 14 July 2014 09:25 PM

Shoot, in Texas a game warden can make an arrest anywhere in the state for any arrestable infraction at any time. Something my ex-wife-in-law’s 2nd husband demonstrated when a roller rink employee stole $300 from another customer.

Chloe 14 July 2014 09:32 PM

What if he's wearing just the hat?


(and no cattle)

erwins 14 July 2014 09:36 PM

It definitely varies by jurisdiction whether an officer has to be in uniform to initiate a traffic stop. But even in a jurisdiction where it's required, I doubt a) that having a hat off would constitute not being in uniform, and b) even if a hat was an essential piece of the uniform, I doubt that a judge would throw out a ticket issued by a real officer who was missing his or her hat. Not every procedural violation is remedied in that way.

WildaBeast 14 July 2014 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichardM (Post 1832668)
But of course, here in Texas, it might be different.

I thought in Texas every man was required to wear a hat. ;)

ETA:
Quote:

Originally Posted by erwins (Post 1832673)
Not every procedural violation is remedied in that way.

A coworker claims he got out of a speeding ticket because the officer used a radar gun to determine his speed, and that stretch of road did not have "speed monitored by radar" signs posted. I never understood why that means he shouldn't have to pay the fine. He was still speeding and he even admits he was speeding.

UEL 14 July 2014 10:20 PM

My sister used to prosecute offences under the Highway Traffic Act here in Ontario. She used to regale us with the tales of everyone who used some odd "error" to try to escape tickets.

Oftentimes, when they "beat the ticket", it was less about the technicalities on the ticket than on the pleading "not guilty" and the police officer who issued the ticket not being able to attend court. Despite common knowledge, this does not automatically get your ticket thrown out. Magistrates can still hear the case. Many of the magistrates will also still allow the defendant to plead their case. But without the police officer presence, it is much more difficult to secure the case. This leads people like my sister to have the ticket dropped or reduced. Hence, people thinking they got away with something.

However, occasionally, the defendant will still incriminate themselves when pleading their case. One minor example, the officer writing the ticket had a colour of the automobile that the defendant did not say was correct. However, while pleading his case, the defendant outright stated that while speeding in this zone he was stopped and given a ticket with a wrong colour on it. My sister was able to sum up using the defendants own words. Still required to pay the fine.

Hero_Mike 14 July 2014 10:44 PM

Do non-uniformed police officers typically have the "book of tickets" required to give someone an official ticket? While they may witness many minor traffic violations, I doubt that they waste their time on any but the most serious of moving violations. In other words, a homicide detective is not going to write a $6 parking ticket for an expired meter, because they have bigger fish to fry.

(And undercover police officers may not be carrying a badge or even their own ID, so why would they put themselves at risk for being discovered, by carrying around the paperwork necessary to give out traffic tickets?)

I would imagine that non-uniformed police (such as detectives) - if they were to witness a serious traffic violation - would use their flashing lights to pull over the violator, calling for a patrol car with uniformed officers, to come to their location and prepare the ticket. The same would occur if, for example, a non-uniformed detective saw a car driving erratically, and he suspected the driver of being drunk. He could chase that car and pull it over, but might not have a breathalyzer on hand. If the detective's vehicle isn't adequate for transporting the drunk driver, they'd have to call for a uniformed patrol car anyway - which is precisely what a motorcycle cop would have to do.

crocoduck_hunter 14 July 2014 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WildaBeast (Post 1832674)
A coworker claims he got out of a speeding ticket because the officer used a radar gun to determine his speed, and that stretch of road did not have "speed monitored by radar" signs posted. I never understood why that means he shouldn't have to pay the fine. He was still speeding and he even admits he was speeding.

I might have gotten out of a speeding ticket by telling an officer I was returning from giving a friend a ride home after a party (the truth, but it was because she didn't have a car, not because she'd been drinking). I'd forgotten where the road went from 45 to 35 and blew past him at ten over. But I really think that the reason I got off with a warning was because it was just before the bars closed on a Friday night and he was more interested in busting drunk drivers than speeders.

lord_feldon 14 July 2014 11:46 PM

I think this might be true in Ohio at least some of the time. A hat is a part of a trooper's distinctive uniform. They are required to wear the distinctive uniform when on duty for the exclusive or main purpose of enforcing motor vehicle or traffic laws, and if they aren't wearing a distinctive uniform, their testimony is inadmissible when a misdemeanor traffic case comes up in court.

I don't know if lacking just one part of the uniform is enough, though.

erwins 15 July 2014 02:35 AM

Compare that with Georgia, where traffic enforcement officers are to wear the standard uniform for their unit, but an arrest won't be invalidated on that basis. (IOW, it's a requirement on officers, but not a "right" to be enforced by defendants, as far as I can tell). http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/...apter-1/40-1-6

In other jurisdictions plain clothes officers can do traffic stops with no issue.

Latiam 15 July 2014 04:01 AM

When I got rear ended by two cars, the police were called. He had three statements to take and two cars needed to be towed, so he called for help. A plainclothes officer on her way home stopped by and took our statements, but told us any official business would be with the other officer and his partner. I never even saw the second guy - they left the police report with my brother. I did wonder if that was because she was plainclothes. Or on her way home.
It was a no contest case - the two of us were stopped and he plowed into the guy behind me.

Dasla 15 July 2014 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chloe (Post 1832671)
What if he's wearing just the hat?


(and no cattle)

:lol: Well I have heard that certain bars have "policemen" like this. I don't think they can issue tickets though.


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