My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Texas
My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Texas
Ok y’all. I received a ticket for going 47 in a 35 mph school zone those morning, but the problem is, the lights were not flashing.
I got pulled over this morning, I was about car number 6, and the last car in a line of cars driving this morning. We had all turned right at a light about a half a mile down the road and were all driving between 45/50 mph, the speed limit on the road is 50. It was 6:40 in the morning, and still dark,when this happened. Well, next thing I know, I see lights behind me and I think a cop is needing by and I pull over, and To my surprise, he pulls in behind me. I was literally confused.
He walked up to me and said his name and said he pulled me over for speeding. I told him I wasn’t speeding and pretty sure I was going a little under the speed limit. He told me I was going 47, but was in a school zone, so the speed limit was only 35. I immediately said, “sir the light weren’t flashing.” He said they were. I told him that they weren’t and was very polite and said “Sir, the 5 or 6 cars in front of me all turned at the same light with me and we were all going about the same speed, no one slowed at all, the lights were not flashing.” He again said they were and told me the car in front of me “was only doing 43” and my reply was, “sir, if the car in front of me was doing 43, there is no way I was BEHIND him doing 47, but even at 43, he would have been doing almost 10 mph over in a school zone, and the lights were not flashing. He again said they were, asked for my license and insurance, which I gave him and he said he would be back. (Keep in mind, this sign doesn’t give times for the school zones on it). I am texting my husband and letting him know what is going on and telling him the lights were absolutely not on, and where he had me pulled over was around a curve where the lights could not be seen when he pulled me over. (He didn’t pull me over as we went by, he waited until I was a good half a mile up the road). It is taking him quite a while, but after about 12 minutes he comes back.
He came back and said, “Ma’am, but ticket machine is down, I am going to have to write the citation out.” I said ok, he gave me my information back, asked me for my name, spelling of it, address, etc. when he was done asking me, He asked me to sign it and I did he told me “be careful out there and walked off.” Like that was it. I said “sir, can I have a copy of my ticket, and he said oh, yeah and tears it off and hands it to me. It is still dark so I took it And I said “sir what day is the court date?” I could see that wasn’t on there and he told me and I wrote it down. I then asked him what time those school zone lights came on and let him know I had been working with the county in debris pick up right there for 2 months and came through there every single day, at that time, and never once, in 2.5 months Have I seen those lights flashing. There are 3 schools in a row there and zi told him I have never seen any of this flashing when I came through, he told me those start flashing at 6:15 am every morning. I said that seems very early, what time does school start, and he said 7:30. I said, “those lights flash for an hour and 15 minutes every morning and start at 6:15?” He said yes. I said sir, I am telling you I have never seen those flash and i have never heard of a school zone coming on that far ahead of school time and go on that long. He said that busses start running at that time, etc. I was frustrated because the whole interaction was strange and none of it made sense, so I asked him how I could verify what time those lights come on every morning and he said I could “call the school”. Just all really strange.
So, I leave, the next school zone was less than a quarter mile away, those lights were not flashing and the next one is about a mile away, and those were not flashing. It was just all odd. So, I got to the road we were picking up debris around 6:55, my debris truck gets there around 7:10, we pick up there first load, he goes to the dump with it, and sun is out at that time, so I pull my ticket out to look at it. The ticket was blank. Like you cannot see a word in it at all. Not the day, time, my name, absolutely nothing. I have never had that happen and it was strange. My truck comes back and gets another load so I ran down to the police station to see if they can make me a copy of this ticket and show them mine, and the woman is like, “oh wow, nothing on here.” The police officer just happens to be there at that time. She tells him there is nothing on my ticket and asked him if he can make a copy. Something in me told me to start recording so I turned the recorder on my phone as she steps back to talk to him, and leave it in my top jacket pocket. Here is where it gets interesting.
She shows him this ticket and he says, “oh, my printer started working after she left, so I can print her a copy of it” hmmm, ok, so he does. She gives it to me and was going to keep the blank one and I told her I needed that back. I thought it was odd that this ticket, that he couldn’t print for me had my signature on it, but I took it And went to go outside and said thank you and left with both. I asked her where the number was to call and she told me and said, “ma’am keep in mind if you plead not guilty, the court date will be quite a while, and you will have to speak to our attorney that day, because he will be there.” I told her that was fine, if I decided too do that, I may hire my own. I stepped outside and looked at this ticket. The printed ticket he gave me at that time said he pulled me over at 7:08. I was like wth? I was with a debris truck by then. (and of course, the school zone lights would have been on by then)
I walked back in and said “excuse me”. The lady there rolled her eyes at me and said, “yes, ow what?” I said “ma’am, the time on this printed ticket he just gave me says 7:08. I was at work well before then, 5 miles from here, and this ticket also has my signature, and sense you just gave this to me, I certainly did not sign it, what is going on with that?” It was obvious when I walked out, the officer and her stood there talking about me, he was still standing there. He said, “oh yes ma’am that time is wrong, i pulled You over at 6:49.” I said well sir, no you didn’t, you pulled me over at 6:39, you may have left me at 6:49, 10 minutes later, but even then, why would you put 7:08 on this ticket for the time, that information is not correct and I didn’t sign this.” He said it was a “mistake” like that was a good enough reason but he wouldn’t change it. I asked him if he had a camera going when he pulled me over and if the camera had the date and time on it? He said he had both the dash cam and his body camera going and they both had the time. The lady jumped back in and said “ma’am he pulled you over at 6:49.” I told her she wasn’t present and he most certainly had not and I would be requesting the video.
I left and went back to work. The whole day I am going through in my head why he would all of a sudden have a printed ticket for me and why he would have changed the time on it so drastically and why would that be signed, when I had never even seen that copy. (Keep in mind, the blank written ticket and the printed one had 2 completely different citation numbers, everything). Then I realize, the lights probably start like most schools in TX, 45 minutes before school starts and 7:08 would have been in that time, it 6:40 would NOT have been. When I called him out, he said 6:49, because that would have been in that time as well, but 6:49 wouldn’t. (I looked it up and that school begins each day at 7:30.) So, now I am really mad about the whole thing.
I am driving back to the office and realize I had texted my husband after the officer took all of my information and went back to the car and let him know what was going on. I got to the office and pulled it up, sure enough, zi texted him at 6:41am d him what was going on. So, this police officer flat out lied, put a false time on the new ticket he produced for me, AND that ticket had “my signature” on it, and I had never seen it.
I am livid. What exactly should I do here? (I have a feeling with how this all happened, that this is not the first time this officer has pulled someone over in a school zone when the lights were not on has happened)