Unsigned Missouri Speeding Ticket Might Not Be an Issue

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If the police officer didn’t sign your speeding ticket, do you still have to pay it?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the short answer is yes.  If a police officer pulls you over and gives you a Missouri speeding ticket but doesn’t sign the ticket, it is possible that the ticket is not valid at the time because it is not signed, but this may not matter later at trial if the police officer: 1) signs the ticket sometime before the beginning of the trial, and 2) appears in court to testify about what he observed (you driving like a bat out of hell on the wrong side of the road, for example).

Two other reasons the unsigned ticket might not be an issue:
•  The police officer might have signed the original version of the ticket that he kept for the official police department file but gave you an un-signed copy, so a signed copy is actually in the police file, and
•  The speeding ticket is numbered so it can easily be traced to the police officer who issued it, so at trial, the prosecuting attorney will be able to prove that this particular police officer pulled you over and gave you the ticket.

According to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 21.04(e), a statement of probable cause (which is what the Missouri speeding ticket is) must be in writing and “shall be signed and on a form bearing notice that false statements made therein are punishable by law.”  An argument could be made that the inclusion of the word “shall” in the Rule means the Missouri speeding ticket can be signed, but doesn’t necessarily have to be signed.  However, at trial, the police officer will be called by the prosecuting attorney to testify in court regarding what he observed you doing (such as speeding through a red light or weaving between lanes), thereby establishing that the police officer had probable cause to pull you over, and the fact that your copy of the Missouri speeding ticket is not signed by the police officer will not be an issue.

Want more information regarding Missouri Traffic Law? View our traffic law resources page for links to information regarding your Missouri speeding ticket, points, Missouri driver’s license, courts and other traffic related issues.

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