Can a police officer force me to sign a ticket without giving me an opportunity to read it?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a police officer force me to sign a ticket without giving me an opportunity to read it?

I was pulled over for driving 53 mph in a 40 mph zone. I was given a clipboard

with the citation and just above the place for me to sign was a note highlighted in red and bold font stating

Asked on February 20, 2018 under General Practice, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The most basic answer is yes, he can require you to sign the ticket without reading it.  The ticket is not a contract that requires your acceptance or declination.  The ticket is a summary of the charges against you and your duties to respond to those charges.  If you refuse to sign a ticket, then an officer can "instanter" you....which basically means taking you to jail so that a magistrate can explain the ticket to you.
Even though they can simply require you to sign it, the officer should have been more professional.  Unfortunately, some officers have little patience to treat the public with basic courtesy.  Regardless, the lack of courtsey is not a basis for claiming a violation of rights.

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