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Loren, Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
Experience:  Former Asst State Attorney/Hearing Officer
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Can a Police officer write a report for a traffic accident

Customer Question

Can a Police officer write a report for a traffic accident over a month after it happened, and give you a traffic ticket then when he didn't at the time of the accident?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs, and I look forward to assisting you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have the police officer coming to my house today. Can he do this?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

As you are probably aware, very few accidents are actually witnessed by a police officer. All that is needed for a citation based on the accident is that there be a "complaining witness". That can be anyone, legally competent to testify in court, who actually saw the accident.

Likewise, a month delay is not illegal, in and of itself.

The officer can come to your home, but you are not required to make any self incriminating statements.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No problem, I was just wondering. In case he asks me to sign anything. At first he wasn't doing a citation, but when the other party started claiming damage that wasn't there and wanted to be paid personally, I got my insurance involved. Now that they are involved the police officer wants to do a report when the only damage was to buff the paint.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will be civil to the good Peace officer when he arrives. Thank you for your assistance.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

The officer will not ask you to sign anything other than a receipt for a report or citation. So, that is not a problem.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

You can not really stop the officer from making a report, but all you are legally provided to do is provide identification.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

However, if all that is claimed is a scrape, there is no personal injury, and you have insurance, there is probably no reason not to just give your version to the officer.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome. If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page) so that I am credited by JustAnswer for assisting you.

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