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Question About Being Pulled Over {As a Woman.}


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Sep 26, 2011, 10:12pm   #1
PrettyInPink's Avatar
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Today, I was pulled over for a reason that I do not believe was justified. That, however, is not the topic of this thread, and I do intend to fight the ticket I received.

The topic of the thread is this ... as a woman, when a police officer pulls you over, do you roll down the window completely, or do you roll down the window just enough to give him your license/registration? Furthermore, are you legally obligated to roll down the window completely if the police officer asks you to do so?

I was pulled over today (on campus, by a campus police officer.) I moved to a secluded area, locked my door, and rolled down the window approximately 4-5 inches. I handed him my license and registration, and then he proceeded to yell at me that my window wasn't rolled down far enough. He went to his car. About 20 minutes later (YES. 20 MINUTES!) he came back and yelled at me again that my window wasn't rolled down enough.

I thought it was pretty standard for women to do this when being pulled over by a police officer. I would rather him NOT be able to reach into my car and unlock the door. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but as a young woman, I feel I have that right.

I should probably also state that this is my first time being pulled over ever in my life.

Thoughts?
Sep 27, 2011, 7:31am   #2
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Your first mistake was pulling into a secluded area. The officer doesn't want to be in a secluded area any more than you do. Pull into an area with lots of lighting and people around. I don't think you did anything wrong, but I can see from the officer's perspective where this may have been an issue. I am not sure if there is any law stating that you have to roll your window all the way down...I guess that can vary by jurisdiction.

I've been pulled over several times I've always rolled down my window completely once I have a clear visual of the officer. Some officers are simply jerks who will yell at your no matter what. Some officers are nice and understand why women do the things they do out of fear. And some officers are as paranoid (or even more so) as you. In this case, the officer may have thought that you were up to something since you pulled into a secluded area and failed to roll your window down all the way.
Sep 27, 2011, 8:27am   #3
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I don't think there's a law that specifically says you have to roll the window all the way down, but I can see as how it can be a problem for the officer.

I've been pulled over...at least 30 times and here's what I learned. Don't argue. Don't be a pain in the @$$. Don't make his/her job any harder than it has to be. People tend to forget that police officers' lives are on the line daily, and when a person they pull over rolls the window down 4 inches or gets snippy, it puts them on edge. They have no idea whether or not you're a violent criminal or just a person who ran a stop sign. It took me a long time to realize that. It's not about me. Once I tried to make their job easier, they made my life easier my either giving me a warning or not citing me for additional infractions.

Also, good luck in fighting a ticket. You usually won't win.
Sep 27, 2011, 9:14am   #4
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When I said secluded ... I just meant a place where people couldn't hit us. We were still visible from the main road.

I know that police officers put their lives on the line everyday. And, I absolutely appreciate that. I have 10-15 cops in my family on my dad's side of the family alone. But, this was a CAMPUS police officer. I'd hardly say writing tickets for people who run out their meter is risking your life. If anything, he's a glorified meter maid. (Can you tell I'm a little bitter? )

I ended up calling my aunt last night (she's a state trooper in our state) and she said that I'm not legally required to roll my window down all the way. In fact, I don't even have to pull over right away if I feel I'm in danger. I can drive to the nearest police station or public area. She did say that if I felt he was overly rude to me that I could file a complaint against him with the campus. Which, I fully intend to do.

Thanks for your comments!
Sep 27, 2011, 10:21am   #5
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Just a heads up, the campus police officers here are actual city officers. Sure, their cars say Campus Police, but they have the same authority that a Sheriff's Officer does. I learned that the hard way. Basically giving off an attitude like you are. So you might want to verify who you're actually dealing with before you get too cocky.

I guess I'm confused. Did you break a law or not? And if you did..why are you trying to get out of paying your fine?
Sep 27, 2011, 10:58am   #6
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Originally Posted by PrettyInPink
I know that police officers put their lives on the line everyday. And, I absolutely appreciate that. I have 10-15 cops in my family on my dad's side of the family alone. But, this was a CAMPUS police officer. I'd hardly say writing tickets for people who run out their meter is risking your life. If anything, he's a glorified meter maid. (Can you tell I'm a little bitter? )
Campus police officers are commissioned police officers...no different from city police, sheriff deputies, and state troopers. When I was in college, a campus officer got shot answering a call to a party in a dorm. The fact that you have police officers in your family should make you a little less condescending of their role in keeping your campus safe. By the way, if you are assaulted on campus, who do you think responds?

And your aunt is correct, if you feel unsafe, the best thing to do is slow down and drive to the nearest public area.

From the tone of your posts, it sounds like you are more angry at getting the ticket than anything else. Pay the fine and let it go.
Sep 27, 2011, 1:32pm   #7
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Originally Posted by Charles
Just a heads up, the campus police officers here are actual city officers. Sure, their cars say Campus Police, but they have the same authority that a Sheriff's Officer does. I learned that the hard way. Basically giving off an attitude like you are. So you might want to verify who you're actually dealing with before you get too cocky.

I guess I'm confused. Did you break a law or not? And if you did..why are you trying to get out of paying your fine?
I did not break the law. He claims that I drove the wrong way on the road. But, I was in a parking lot. And, this particular parking lot ONLY has lanes that go both ways. It would be impossible for me to be driving the wrong way in this particular parking lot. Yet, here I am with a ticket. He refused to even tell me what I did, and I had to google the charge to find out what it even was. I was very polite to him, but I did refuse to roll my window down anymore than 4-5 inches.

I looked up his information. He is a hired security guard for the campus. He's not hired by the city, he's hired by the school. And, he's not even a police officer at all, like I originally thought.
Sep 27, 2011, 2:53pm   #8
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In that case, you might not even have to pay it. Do you go to school there?
Sep 27, 2011, 3:47pm   #9
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i'd complain to the school. there's no need to be yelled at because your window wasn't rolled down enough. he could have nicely asked you to do it.
Sep 27, 2011, 3:48pm   #10
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at the college i attended, if you got a ticket from campus security - if you didn't pay it then they passed it on to the city because they had your license plate number. so there was no way to get out of it if you weren't a student.
Sep 27, 2011, 5:42pm   #11
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Originally Posted by Charles
In that case, you might not even have to pay it. Do you go to school there?
Yes, I do.

I hope that I don't have to pay it. I am going to contact the school tomorrow about the situation, and hopefully I can get it remedied.
Sep 28, 2011, 8:06am   #12
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Originally Posted by ILuvShopping
at the college i attended, if you got a ticket from campus security - if you didn't pay it then they passed it on to the city because they had your license plate number. so there was no way to get out of it if you weren't a student.
That shouldn't matter. Here's the deal, and Natalie, correct me if I'm wrong, but the only way you can lose your license or get points assessed is if the ticket is a voilation of the city/county/state statutes. If the campus is private, that shouldn't apply. When you sign your license, you're basically saying "I'll pay fines for city/county/state tickets and if not, you can take my license away". That doesn't apply to non city/county/state tickets. So while they might forward the ticket to the county/city, I don't think they have any legal right to enforce it.

Now, as long as you're on the private property, they have the right to do what they want. Tow you, withhold your credits (if you're a student)..stuff like that.
Sep 28, 2011, 8:26am   #13
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Charles is correct. If you got the ticket on private college property, the city/county/state cannot enforce the ticket. There might be some gray area if he claims the violation actually occurred on the street rather than in the parking lot, since the street may or may not be private property of the college. Either way, since the person issuing the ticket is a paid security officer, not an actual police officer, I don't think any public agency can enforce the ticket.

But, you have to consider what the school will do if you fail to pay the ticket. When I was in school, I had an unpaid ticket and I was not allowed to register for any classes or use the school computer system until I paid the ticket. It was a huge pain in the rear...

If you really believe that the ticket is bogus, then by all means, fight it. Go to the location where he alleged the violation took place and take pictures. Take pictures of the signs in the parking lot showing that the direction of traffic goes in both directions. But, don't choose to fight the ticket simply because you are angry at the guy for being rude or because you angry about getting the ticket. And stop to consider whether it's even worth it. How much is the fine? Is it worth the fight?
Sep 28, 2011, 8:38am   #14
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I have been pulled over quite a few times, whoops. I always try to pull off into a gas station or somewhere off the road where there are other people around. All our cars have tinted windows, so I always roll the window all the way down (I understand why cops get a little on-edge when a car has tinted windows). I don't think you HAVE to do this, but I can certainly see how doing so would put a cop much more at ease and that's why I do it. I also don't make a move to reach for anything without telling he/she what I'm doing (ie: "my license is in my wallet inside my purse; I'm going to get it for you now"). I try to make things as easy as I can for them, and I'm always polite and respectful. If I know why I got pulled over and they ask me the standard "do you know why I stopped you" question, I respond honestly.

I don't think it's right that he yelled at you the way he did, but sadly some cops do have that type of personality. It's also possible that something had happened on his shift that set him off prior to pulling you over. It's not right either way, but it happens. If you feel like you were treated badly, you can always call one of his superiors and make them aware of what happened...but I wouldn't expect it to get you off the hook for the ticket itself.
Sep 28, 2011, 10:20am   #15
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Originally Posted by natalie78
Charles is correct. If you got the ticket on private college property, the city/county/state cannot enforce the ticket. There might be some gray area if he claims the violation actually occurred on the street rather than in the parking lot, since the street may or may not be private property of the college. Either way, since the person issuing the ticket is a paid security officer, not an actual police officer, I don't think any public agency can enforce the ticket.

But, you have to consider what the school will do if you fail to pay the ticket. When I was in school, I had an unpaid ticket and I was not allowed to register for any classes or use the school computer system until I paid the ticket. It was a huge pain in the rear...

If you really believe that the ticket is bogus, then by all means, fight it. Go to the location where he alleged the violation took place and take pictures. Take pictures of the signs in the parking lot showing that the direction of traffic goes in both directions. But, don't choose to fight the ticket simply because you are angry at the guy for being rude or because you angry about getting the ticket. And stop to consider whether it's even worth it. How much is the fine? Is it worth the fight?
I really do believe the ticket is bogus. It says on the ticket "left of center in parking lot." That's not possible in this parking lot. I am going to (1) file a complaint with the university about his behavior. And (2) fight the ticket because I don't believe it was justified.
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