If you are pulled over by a police officer and given a traffic ticket, it is in your best interest to sign the ticket or else be taken into police custody. The ticket contains a notice to you of a pending court date at which you must appear. By signing the ticket, you are showing an acknowledgment of receipt of the notice to appear. Because the officer is charging you with a violation of law, he could take you into custody. But by signing the ticket, you avoid being taken into custody at that time and are released “on your own recognizance” pending the court date. By signing the citation, you remain free and preserve the right to show up at the hearing to challenge the issuance of the citation. Remember, you are free to refuse to sign the traffic ticket; however, the police officer is free to place you under arrest and take you into custody.
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