Was pulled over, got a warning but it’s a bit unclear, double checking.
August 29, 2022 8:59 AM   Subscribe

My friend and I were on vacation, heading back home. I was driving his car. In a small local town, I got pulled over for speeding. My friend and I are both Deaf, but he can hear and read lips a bit). When the police officer gathered my ID and his registration, after a few minutes, according to my friend (he was the one communicating for me), the officer said “slow down, have a nice day” then handed our items back and left.

My friend believes/says it was a warning. Whew! However, I just wanted to double check — is there a chance I did get a ticket after all, only it’d be mailed to me, or him? Reason I ask is the address on my DL isn’t 100% up to date, so I didn’t want them to send something to me, only to have it not be delivered.

I’m 95% confident it was a just a verbal warning, but wanted to get your input because it was my first time experiencing this and there was no real communication or “closure” (like a warning ticket paper).

This was in a small local town in upstate/western NY, if that helps any.
posted by dubious_dude to Law & Government (12 answers total)
If you didn’t get a paper, it was a verbal warning.
posted by corb at 9:03 AM on August 29, 2022 [26 favorites]

I agree that this was a warning, or actually even less of a warning -- nothing documented, nothing recorded, they were probably "fishing" for people with expired registration or outstanding warrants or such and you weren't worth the time to do anything about you.

I also have been stopped for speeding with this exact result; cop says I was speeding, takes my stuff, comes back and gives me everything and says have a nice day just watch my speed, never got a ticket in the mail or anything else.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:05 AM on August 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

You're good. No ticket given, no ticket. You even got a "have a nice day"!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:06 AM on August 29, 2022 [3 favorites]

If it were a ticket you would definitely would have a piece of paper in your hands.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:09 AM on August 29, 2022 [5 favorites]

Assuming this is in the US you would get a paper on the spot if you were issued a ticket.
posted by jeoc at 9:09 AM on August 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

there was no real communication or “closure”

"Slow down, have a nice day" is cop-speak for "You are not getting a ticket" and so that is your closure. In the US, they hand you a ticket if you are getting a ticket.
posted by jessamyn at 9:41 AM on August 29, 2022 [16 favorites]

Here they even hand you a paper if you got an offical warning. So you are good!
posted by domino at 11:00 AM on August 29, 2022 [3 favorites]

It seems unlikely you got a ticket unless they handed you a ticket. If they were going to write out a ticket, they should have asked whether the address on your license is current. I believe a ticket acts as an official summons - usually there's a court date and all that - so they are going to ask if the address is current because they want a way to follow up with you if you don't show up or pay the ticket.

(Source: Have been driving in the U.S. for more than 30 years, have gotten tickets in multiple states, also have gotten warnings in multiple states. Any tickets have included an actual ticket with the officer asking if the address is current.)

Usually the only tickets that show up later are from traffic cameras, automatic tolls, etc. That would be off your car registration and not driver's license, though.
posted by jzb at 11:32 AM on August 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

If you're still anxious despite the reassurance here (that I totally agree with - this was a warning), if you remember the location, you could contact the relevant court(s) to double-check. The question could be phrased as "I'm pretty sure it was a warning, but I'm deaf and there were communication issues. I just wanted to be absolutely certain." It could even be prefaced with "This might be a strange question, please bear with me...", which is a tactic I use that tends to get me some extra patience when dealing with things I'm not sure how to explain or what I'm asking for.
posted by stormyteal at 11:40 AM on August 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

No one's mentioned yet but every ticket I've received, I've had to sign something. THEN the officer tears off and hands me the violator's portion of the ticket (and that's where I have to stifle my urge to say "Thank You").
posted by Rash at 12:20 PM on August 29, 2022 [8 favorites]

Agreed you would have gotten a paper ticket at the time. In my state you would have gotten a paper even if it was just a warning because they have to document the fact they stopped you.

> and that's where I have to stifle my urge to say "Thank You"

That urge always pops up at the most inopportune times, doesn’t it?
posted by tubedogg at 12:43 PM on August 29, 2022 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks so much! I figured that it would be a warning, but just wanted to check.

I went to the local town's website to look at their ticket paying portal, and it requires a ticket or case number to even pull up ticket information, which I definitely didn't get at all. So, looks to definitely be just a verbal warning.

posted by dubious_dude at 11:03 AM on August 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

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