Red Light Ticket in CA - Advice?Submitted by Marc Clair on Sat, 01/23/2010 - 19:37
I know others have posted about fighting tickets on here and wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on mine. Last night on the way home from work I pulled up to a red light that I always pull up to and "rolled through" the red light. It's legal to take a right turn on red in CA but I technically did not come to a full stop. Unfortunately I didn't notice the tax feeder / cop sitting next to me as I did it, and he proceeded to pull me over. He asked me if I knew why he pulled me over, I said "yes, I didn't come to a complete stop back there" . This may have been a mistake, but I was trying to play nice in hopes he might let me off. But by the time I handed him my registration he wasted no time getting back to his car to write the ticket.
Now this is the part I'm not sure of. I've read before about not signing the ticket, so I asked him if I had to sign it. He said "it's not an admission of guilt, you just have to sign it to acknowledge you got the ticket. You're still presumed innocent in a court of law". To then said "what if I don't sign it", and he said "then I take you to jail.". What I'm not sure of is whether what he told me is true or legal. Can he really take me to jail for not signing a ticket? Under what pretense? I was in a rush to get somewhere and at that point I just said screw it, signed it, and took the ticket.
Just wondering if anyone has ideas on what grounds I might be able to fight the ticket. Can I at all use the "I will take you to jail" threat in my defense? I have every intention of going and pleading 'not guilty' but I'm not too sure of how to proceed from there. If I do nothing else than inconvenience a police officer and make him come to court than so be it. I have to appear on March 3rd and I will am about to leave the country for a month, so I won't have much time to prepare when I get back.
Any advice would be appreciated, this puppies run about $500 out here and that's a kick in the gut on my budget.