View Full Version : More police procedure

06-09-2008, 04:47 AM
So I have character who skids out of control late at night due to excessive speed, and he collides with a stop sign (or maybe it can be any old street sign) before coming to a stop. This is witnessed by a cop, who it turns out sorta knows the kid. I need the cop to let him off as lightly as possible, which currently is with a speeding ticket but burying the crash and summary destruction of civic property.

Yes? No? Other ideas?

Thank you!!!

06-09-2008, 04:55 AM
He could just gives the kid a ticket and imply somehow that the cop is going to call the Street Department to get the sign put back up. It might not be police department policy, but a lot of things are done that aren't policy. There was a road near where I grew up that had a "bump" in it. If I got my car up to a certain speed I could get the wheels to come off the ground. Of course, guess who saw me doing it one day. Yes, a very large and none-too-happy state trooper. I got a nice little lecture, but it let me off without even a ticket.

Or . . . you could just have it that the kid runs off the road. The cop sees him speeding, then loosing control of the car, but now you don't have to even deal with the stop sign issue.

06-09-2008, 08:26 AM
So I have character who skids out of control late at night due to excessive speed, and he collides with a stop sign (or maybe it can be any old street sign) before coming to a stop. This is witnessed by a cop, who it turns out sorta knows the kid. I need the cop to let him off as lightly as possible, which currently is with a speeding ticket but burying the crash and summary destruction of civic property.
Thank you!!!

Well, first off, since the speeding resulting in property damage, it wouldn't just be speeding anymore. It'd be 'reckless driving'. At least in Nevada.

The cop could just give the kid a ticket and let him go on his way (presuming, of course, there wasn't anything else going on such as intoxication of some form) and then do a report regarding the accident and the damage done to the vehicle and traffic control device.

Which the kid is going to need for his insurance claim.

However, should the cop decide that he no longer likes his job he could just let the kid go and cover up the accident. But when it comes to light (the body shop that see suspicious damage, the parents reporting the damage to the car so a police report could be filed, the insurance company calling the department looking for the report so they can process the claim, etc) then that cop is going to have to answer a lot of interesting questions from his administration and/or internal affairs department.

And yes, these things DO always surface, sooner or later. Then, since the cop has already falsified a report/failed in his duty, this will haunt him for the rest of his career - especially under the Giglio rule.


06-09-2008, 08:40 AM
Why can't it just be raining? That way there is not speed and it is just an accident.

06-09-2008, 10:18 AM
You can certainly write the scenario you suggest, FTJoshua, without any real problems.

Colliding w/ a sign doesn't mean the sign is ruined, nor that there is significant damage to the veh, bu the remainder of your post seems to indicate you want the sign trashed, w/ veh damage.

Thing is, the cop has no reason to not do a decent job and write the report as seen. Just because he kinda knows the kid, he's going to cover up the kid's accident? Hmm. OK, but let there be a reason for the cop to be so negligent.

The weather excuse won't fix things. A posted limit of 55 that is unmanageable with bad weather, for example, can leave one with a speeding ticket for going 50 mph...known as 'basic speed' or 'too fast for conditions'.

Reckless is usually criminal...depending on jurisdiction, there can be a lesser charge, still an infraction not a misdo, of careless driving. Worse than the basic speed ticket the kid earned before he hit the sign.

Your call what you want to do, of course. I've done oodles of traffic acc invs-- there's really no prob w/ your char just writing the cite of an obvioulsy violated traffic law, speed, and doing the traffic acc report. Kid probably has a form or two to fill out, get s acase number to pass on to his insurance company... is he driving sans insurance? Is that why you want him let off. No, no. most likely an extra crime there.

06-09-2008, 07:05 PM
Such a thing like that would be "failure to control" or "improper operation" in Ohio.

Here's the thing. The kid should want him to write up the report. It makes it easier to make a claim with the insurance company. AND in Ohio, if you don't make a report with the police, you have to make one with the BMV or you can lose your license. If the BMV learns that there's been an accident, and no report was made, his license is toast.

06-09-2008, 08:02 PM
I'd go the other way, have the cop write up the accident. Reason for accident,check one:
Wet pavement
Loose gravel/dirt in roadway
Icy road conditions
Excessive speed
Speeding is a subjective call and the cop can call it any way he wants to. Letting the kid off with his insurance having to pay to fix a $200 sign is much better than hitting him with a speeding ticket.

06-09-2008, 10:50 PM
The officer wouldn't necessarily have to give him a ticket but "bury the accident"? No, probably not...especially on a "kind of knows" the driver situation. I don't know any cops that would do something like that...it could cost them their job.

Can you give us more insight into why you need your character to have the accident and why the officer needs to witness it? Maybe we can come up with some alternate ideas for you. :)

06-10-2008, 05:05 AM
The kid could while driving normally for coditions, & sober, with no cell chat or lost the cd on the floor crap, hit the sign while trying to avoid a dog or a deer and the accident could be written up as a non-speeding, non-driver fault thougt the sign and the car will need repairs.

06-11-2008, 05:33 AM
Thank you all for these ideas! I think you gave me what I needed. If anyone's checking back, I have another question:

Does the victim of a non-lethal assault need to press charges in order for the attacker to be prosecuted? It happened to me once and the cops all but advised us not to bother pressing charges, and I'm pretty sure the other guys were let off.

Thanks again for taking the time to help out!

06-11-2008, 03:58 PM

If it's domestic-related (i.e., family members, or dating relationship), the state could pick up the charges on their own. We've done it once or twice in a non-domestic case, but if memory serves, I think it was still a dating relationship that just didn't qualify by law as a domestic relationship to treat it as domestic violence.

If that's not an issue, then generally, yes, the victim has to come forward. Feel free to PM me with questions; I handle cases like this on a daily basis.

06-16-2008, 01:59 AM
Wouldn't it be nice if people put jurisdictions where these stories take place so you don't get a bunch of conflicting answers?

I'm working one case now, in Nevada, that's a battery by inmate on inmate. A felony. The victim tells me that he spoke about this with his lawyer and he doesn't want it to go on. He tells me his defense attorney told him he was going to make it go away. Don't know how the defense attorney for the victim is going to make my charges/investigation go away because the DA and the State are the ones that make the charging decisions - not defense attorneys.

So, yes, the State COULD prosecute without the victim pressing the issue. In some cases, it's actually mandatory that the STATE is the one that presses charges. Like it was said above, domestic battery is one of those where the state is the 'victim' for purposes of prosecution.

There are other cases of it happening as well. Murder, for example, would be prosecuted with the state as the 'victim' instead of the victim (naturally) pressing charges.

But, again, jurisdictional things are required to answer questions - effectively - because when you say "non-lethal assault" my response is ALL assault is non-lethal. That's why it's 'assault' and not 'battery'. But that is a legal definition that varies from state to state. For Nevada, assault is the 'reasonable fear of immediate jeopardy' of having harm inflicted upon them. Battery is the actual inflicting of harm. So assault is the threat of it and battery is the doing.

Now, we do have "assault with a deadly weapon" which is where a weapon is used to create the fear of immediate substantial bodily harm and such. But it is - once again - just the *threat* of the use of force against the person.

So, you set a story in Nevada and say the guy was severely wounded through an 'assault' you'll have lost a lot of credibility.