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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 118708
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years of law and traffic law
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Re: NJ traffic ticket I was driving in my vehicle, had my

Customer Question

Re: NJ traffic ticket
I was driving in my vehicle, had my cell phone on speaker with no chance of the phone being seen, when I was pulled over by a police officer. They only thing that would have given the idea of talking on the phone was that he saw my mouth moving. I should mention that the town is a small town, next to my home town, that has a reputation (which is widely known) of their entire existence being based on motor violations. When I was pulled over, I was not too happy, I can honestly say I was livid. The conversation was not a calm one. When the officer approached the car I asked him why he pulled me over. He said because ai was talking on the cell phone. I explained to him that I was using the cell phone exactly how we are instructed to use a cell phone, through speaker phone. He said that didn't make a difference and that I need to drive with both hands on the wheel, which in my 32 years of driving had never heard. He obviously saw that At that point I had the phone in my hand resting on the center console. I was on my way to pick my daughter up from school and picked up the phone from the cup holder and asked the officer if it was ok to call my daughter to let her know I would be delayed, which he said was fine. I believe he was suggesting that Since I was holding the phone at that point he would suggest that I had been holding the phone while driving. Which I am not sure that would warrant a violation even if it was true. Also, I was driving a SUV, which sits higher than his vehicle so there is no chance he could even see the phone. The officer took my credentials to his car and surprisingly came back within no more than 2 minutes and handed me my credentials and said that he was not giving me a ticket. I have the utmost respect for law enforcement, which I told him, but when police officers violates a individual's civil rights by randomly pulling them over hoping to find a way to make it seem warranted, the respect quickly turns to anger. As I said before, I was extremely vocal and fully expressed my feeling and showed the officer no respect, which he did not deserve. If he had any reason to believe I violated a law he certainly would have written me a ticket after the way I spoke to him.
Well 3 weeks later, I received a summons, which I will try to attach, stating I failed to appear in court and if I don't appear on 1/5/2017 a warrant may be issued for my arrest + other threats. The summons lists 11/22/2016 as the date of notice and a violation date of 11/01/2016, which is the date of the traffic stop.
Can a officer change his mind and write a ticket after the stop and notifying the driver he is not issuing a ticket?
Do I have a right to request all documents pertaining to this "violation"?
Are there any repercussions I can push against the officer for his actions? Re: illegal stop as well as the fabrication of his story.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Yes, the officer can issue a summons at a later date if they do not issue the citation on the scene of the traffic stop. Also, legally, the driver's license manual instructs drivers to drive with two hands on the wheel, one at ten and one at two. So for you to say you have never heard that may be true, but legally driver training is to keep two hands on the wheel, but it is not written into any law specifically.
You can go to court and plead not guilty and request all of the documentation, but if the officer shows up and testifies, the way traffic court works is it is generally just your word against the officer's word.
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What could be a legitimate reason for him to tell me at the seen that he is not issuing a ticket, then change his mind later?
I never received a ticket during or after the stop, but now I'm getting a document stating I didn't show up for the court hearing?
I am familiar with drivers training and encouraging drivers to have 2 hands on the wheel, but as you said it is not a law so how can it be enforced?
I understand the my word against his travesty. I went through that when I was 21, showed up to court and was found innocent.
But that is not a likely outcome.
As far as requesting all relevant documents. Can I do that now, prior to the court date? Should I do it by certified mail? Or in person?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Other than perhaps him not wanting a confrontation with you out on the street at the time since you were upset and hostile by your own statement, what you are asking calls for way too much speculation as to why he did not issue the citation at the time.
You are correct, as I said as well, two hands on the wheel is not in the law, except that it could potentially form the basis for unsafe operation if an accident occurs.
You can send a letter to the prosecutor's office asking for all relevant documents, but on a traffic stop there are likely no such documents other than the ticket itself. You can send it now or you can wait for arraignment and ask the prosecutor, but police do not write reports on every traffic stop, they issue a citation and that is all.