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Arrested in the US upon entry?

Arrested in the US upon entry?

Old May 12, 20, 12:15 pm
  #16  
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The other issue is that when a warrant is issued on a moving traffic violation, one's right to operate in the state of offense is suspended and many states reciprocate. Thus, it might even be that OP is admitted, but is stopped for some unrelated offense somewhere else and is then arrested because he his right to operate is suspended -- even though he may have a valid license. In that situation, he would be charged locally and not extradited to Utah, even if Utah were to offer to extradite.
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Old May 12, 20, 12:50 pm
  #17  
 
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Regardless of whether or not the ticket was justified, the question is whether it is worth a few hundred bucks to you not to have this worry.

I do many thousands of miles behind the wheel in many different countries and like most high mileage drivers, I pick up the odd speeding ticket here and there. Most - in fact probably all - of them are justified.

They are a minor irritation when I get them, but much less of an irritation than fighting uphill battles to get out of them. In most - if not all - cases it will cost you many times the fine to have it overturned, whether or not you really have been genuinely hosed.

Do yourself a favour and just pay it. It's just another road expense.
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Old May 12, 20, 1:53 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by TobiasBB View Post
What is an SOP?
Standard operating procedure.

Originally Posted by TobiasBB View Post
Hm I just found a website saying:

Utahís basic speed law and the presumed speed limit

This is not wrong. It has something to do with your lack of legal knowledge.

There are 2 parts of the speeding law for the U.S. states utilizing the Basic Speed Law scheme - the Basic Speed Law and the absolute Maximum. While the Basic Speed law states that you can drive as fast as you want as soon as it is safe to do so, the absolute Maximum is when you must follow the speed limit on the sign. The absolute maximum is usually imposed in special areas, including highways, school zones, etc.

For example, it is legal to drive 45 mph in a 35 mph local road when the condition allows. However, it is considered speeding when you drive 56 mph in a 55 mph highway at all times.
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Old May 12, 20, 4:38 pm
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Sets the cruise control to 9 mph over the posted limit and is surprised to be ticketed? Am I the only one surprised by that?
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Old May 13, 20, 4:02 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by trooper View Post
Sets the cruise control to 9 mph over the posted limit and is surprised to be ticketed? Am I the only one surprised by that?
Not really. Lots of police in at least some rural areas in the US have had a practice of not ticketing people for speeding less than 10 miles over the speed limit on the high-speed county roads and state and US highways. I have had more than my fair share of hearing that sticking to 6-9 mph over the speed limit would commonly be tolerated by their departments/offices. Of course things arenít necessarily uniform and static when it comes to this, but for one or more reasons the tolerance for speeding on the higher speed roads is greater than it is in say a 15-25mph zone near a school or hospital. In one place where I encounter a 15mph speed limit, 5 over has been a fine and a foreign licensed driver pulled into the station to pay the fine on the spot or face being held for a hearing. Go out ten minutes, and then going 8/9 mph over the speed limit gets a pass perhaps even from the very same LEO/LEA.
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Old May 14, 20, 11:46 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
They are a minor irritation when I get them, but much less of an irritation than fighting uphill battles to get out of them. In most - if not all - cases it will cost you many times the fine to have it overturned, whether or not you really have been genuinely hosed.
Do yourself a favour and just pay it. It's just another road expense.
This.
In the US, to contest a traffic ticket you need to appear in court on your assigned court date, or hire a lawyer to do this for you. If you believe you are innocent because the officer didn't clock your speed correctly, you can request a trial. That may require going back there yet again.
Since you obviously missed your court date and didn't pay the fine, you now have that warrant issued against you - as Often1 correctly stated, your 'crime' isn't speeding but failure to appear in traffic court. The warrant is issued for this, not for the speeding ticket. It is too late to argue the speeding ticket now, you failing to appear in court has made that pretty much final.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The other issue is that when a warrant is issued on a moving traffic violation, one's right to operate in the state of offense is suspended and many states reciprocate. Thus, it might even be that OP is admitted, but is stopped for some unrelated offense somewhere else and is then arrested because he his right to operate is suspended -- even though he may have a valid license. In that situation, he would be charged locally and not extradited to Utah, even if Utah were to offer to extradite.
This definitely does not pertain to foreign visitors to the US holding non-US drivers' licenses. As long as OP does not get stopped in Utah, everything's fine. The US chose not to ratify any treaty governing international driving relations following up to the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic which dates back to 1949 and only covers very basic things. Recognition of suspensions is not one of them.
Check the code of your state and the sanctions imposed on violations: There's a marked distinction between "driving while privilege to do so is suspended or revoked" and " Operating with foreign driver's license when privilege suspended or revoked by the state", with the latter incurring a much less severe penalties.

Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Not really. Lots of police in at least some rural areas in the US have had a practice of not ticketing people for speeding less than 10 miles over the speed limit on the high-speed county roads and state and US highways. I have had more than my fair share of hearing that sticking to 6-9 mph over the speed limit would commonly be tolerated by their departments/offices
This is very much the case with state highway patrol officers, and has been MO for decades. However, with highway speed traps set up by small-town police preying on passing motorists out on a mission to raise revenue for their municipalities' depleted coffers chances of getting a ticket for > 10 over are definitely there.

__

During a brief period in the 1990s, Montana was unique in that it had no set daytime speed limit but a "reasonable and prudent" rule. All other states had set numerical limits, which were way lower than today's, too (most of the Northeast was still at 55...) . On a cross-country trip, I specifically took I-90 through Montana to take advantage of this newly-instituted freedom and enjoy some pedal-to-the-metal time in my fast-for-the-day car going through some really nice scenery with zero other traffic to watch out for.
The officer pulling me over strongly believed that going 150-plus mph (we're talking 1995 here, back when average cars weren't nearly as quick as they are today), was reckless, endangering and whatnot by itself in principle and no amount of arguing could convince him that this was indeed a perfectly safe speed to travel in given the long straight highway with perfect visibility and zero other vehicles on the road. I have forgotten if it was some local sheriff's office deputy or a state highway cop - probably the latter. He was also very unhappy about the long long time it took him to catch up with me and tried to include some more serious things like trying to elude him etc... This is not comparable to your case at all.

It's a sad fact of life that some US municipalities use speed traps on (interstate) highways passing through their boundaries as revenue sources. Most doing this actually depend on it for financial survival these days (you can read up on it). Some states even have laws against this practice.
Thanks to the internet (there's websites like speedtrap.org, phone apps like Waze etc...), these days, those operations can be detected and avoided even by unsuspecting visitors not familiar with the area with a little bit of research. I made sure I never exceeded the speed limit (or stopped for anything involving spending money) going through Maricopa county in AZ as long as Mr. Arpaio ran law enforcement there.

You now have three choices:
- do nothing and hope for everything to go away in time. This is only a good plan if you know 100% you a.) won't return to Utah in the next decade or two and b.) are not planning on any activity that requires any sort of background check by US authorities. Getting an ESTA issued and entering the US on it through an airport does not trigger thorough background checks at this time, but e.g. applying for Global Entry or a work permit and corresponding visa will. Also, one never knows where immigration policy in the US is heading. Rules may change pretty quickly following either a change in administration or as a fallout of events.

- pay the fine and court costs and be done. This is the easiest way out, and what everyone around here rightfully recommends.

- hire a lawyer and have him/her fight the charge. At this point, having missed the court date deadline, you will have to go through a lawyer who'll appeal to the court to do 'restitutio in integrum.' in lawyer-speak (arguing along the lines of no proper notification of your court date because the officer didn't note your address so the court could send you the summons or something like this....). This will prove to be way more expensive than simply paying the fine, but if you believe you were given that ticket in error and should be acquitted feel free to go down that avenue.
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Old May 15, 20, 1:50 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by TobiasBB View Post
So what would actually happen if I decide to try entering the US (via some other state like California, New York etc.)... Will I be rejected at the border? Arrested? Just charged some price?
Welcome to FlyerTalk TobiasBB!

Take a look at this thread in the Practical Travel Safety/Security forum:
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Old May 29, 20, 12:05 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by TobiasBB View Post
Hello guys,

I have a bit of an awkward situation - a bit less than one year ago I was traveling in the US and in Utah on a highway I was stopped by a police officer for speeding; He was driving towards me then turning behind me and pulling me over; Now the weird thing is that I set the cruise control to 9 mph over the limit but he gave me a citation for 12mph over the limit and it was a very flat road so either the measurement was incorrect(more likely) or the speedometer of my car showed a too slow speed;

I then wrote a letter to the judge explaining the situation and also wrote an email but they did not believe me and feeling deceived and not taken seriously, I did not pay the fine; Since I returned back to Europe a few days later I did not suffer any consequences; Now thinking about that, it was quite stupid as I just hurt myself with it and also, even if the measurement is wrong, I was still speeding but in that situation I just felt like I am being wrongly accused and no one believes me;

Now today on https :// secure.utah .gov/warrants/index. html I saw that there is actually a warrant for speeding - to be honest I was quite shocked as warrants in Europe are only issued if you really did something bad like beating up a person, fraud etc but certainly not for speeding 12mph over the limit;

I am not planning to travel to the US within the next years but of course this makes me worried about the whole situation...

Considering that i was just driving 9 mph over the limit to make it to the national park by sunset to take some nice picture and now I'm wanted by the police makes me think how quickly that escalated...

So what would actually happen if I decide to try entering the US (via some other state like California, New York etc.)... Will I be rejected at the border? Arrested? Just charged some price?

I am a bit afraid but now paying the fine also feels silly as the 150$ fine probably added up to 500$ or more with additional fees etc.
Aloha Tobias,

Looks like you have gotten lots of good advice already, but just wanted to add that you will probably find out right away about your entry eligibility once you apply for the ESTA visa with CBP... Im assuming that you are from Deutschland which is part of the Visa Waiver Program as provided by the Electronic System for Electronic Authorization (ESTA). Their website states that "The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is administered by DHS and enables eligible citizens or nationals of designated countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa."

Depending on when your prior ESTA expires and when you have to re-apply, the warrant might come up, but this will at least be your first indication that you might have an issue when you arrive.

In the meantime, contact the court that issued the warrant/citation, find out the status of the warrant and make arrangements to pay and be done with it. Then when you arrive here in the US, bring copies of the emails/letters and proof and payment and just have it on hand for inspection by CBP.

When your in Austin, be sure and travel south to Fredicksburg, Texas, great small town about 2 hours South with lots of German heritage and a phenomenal Oktoberfest festival every year.

Prosit!
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