Does a traffic ticket count as an arrest?
A traffic ticket is not an arrest. An arrest occurs when an officer takes you into custody and you are booked into jail. However, when you receive a traffic ticket, you are given an option to pay or to appear in court. Most often your driver’s license is displayed to the officer in lieu of bail or being taken to jail. One purpose of a traffic ticket is to allow an officer to initiate a criminal charge without having to take you to jail, although the officer, in his discretion, can arrest you. It’s important that during a traffic stop you abide by the officer’s instructions. Provide your driver’s license, proof of insurance and be courteous. This keeps everyone safe and there is less of a chance of any issues. If you are handcuffed, booked into jail, photographed and/or detained for a prolonged period of time by law enforcement during a traffic stop you should consult with a lawyer right away.
Before paying the ticket, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney. Although you haven’t been arrested, citations for traffic stops can have a major effect on your driving record. We have seen outstanding tickets affect a person’s license for years after the offense. While we were able to clean these up, it’s much better to allow us to do this from the start. It save you time and money.