Hypothetical Facts
  1. A driver is pulled over for speeding.
  2. The officer writes a ticket and asks the driver to sign it.
  3. After questioned by the driver, the officer explains a signature is not an admission of guilt, but only indicates "acceptance" (receipt) of the ticket.
  4. The driver refuses to sign the ticket.

What will most likely happen next?

  • 2
    The officer will probably annotate that the driver refused to sign. – Pat W. Nov 25 '15 at 20:32
  • 1
    @PatW. Unless you're in Texas, then you get tased. mercurynews.com/politics/ci_12563043 How you refuse to sign is probably a factor. – ColleenV Nov 25 '15 at 23:56
  • 1
    @ColleenV Wow; seems a little over the top on both sides. I watched an octogenarian hit a car with her cane after it ran a red. But in that case, all the bystanders were rooting for the old lady.... – Pat W. Nov 26 '15 at 0:04

It depends on the jurisdiction. Some states don't require a signature. In California refusing to sign is grounds for arrest:

CA Codes (veh:40300-40313)

40302) Whenever any person is arrested for any violation of this code, not declared to be a felony, the arrested person shall be taken without unnecessary delay before a magistrate within the county in which the offense charged is alleged to have been committed and who has jurisdiction of the offense and is nearest or most accessible with reference to the place where the arrest is made in any of the following cases:
(a) When the person arrested fails to present his driver's license or other satisfactory evidence of his identity for examination.
(b) When the person arrested refuses to give his written promise to appear in court.
(c) When the person arrested demands an immediate appearance before a magistrate.
(d) When the person arrested is charged with violating Section 23152.

  • Is a ticket for a moving violation considered an arrest in California law? The passage you cite otherwise seems to be irrelevant. – phoog Nov 26 '15 at 6:21
  • 1
    @phoog, my understanding is that a traffic stop counts as an arrest in this context. Once an officer has pulled you over to issue a ticket, you are not free to go. You have to remain with the officer until he has finished processing the warning or the ticket. This too is likely jurisdiction dependent. – Charles E. Grant Nov 26 '15 at 19:36

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