If you’ve received a traffic ticket on private property, you may be wondering if you have to pay it or how to get out of it. The short answer is that, generally speaking, you do not have to pay the ticket, and there are several options to contest the ticket and even avoid having points added to your license. This article will help answer your questions about traffic tickets on private property and how to handle them.
What is a Private Property Traffic Ticket?
Although most people understand that it is illegal to use your cell phone while driving, many are unsure if they can receive a traffic ticket for speeding or making an unsafe lane change from someone other than a police officer.
The short answer is yes – but only if your offence took place on private property. While there are some exceptions, as outlined below, for violations that occur off of public roads or in parking lots and parking garages, you cannot be issued a traffic citation by police officers or other authorized agents.
Is it possible to acquire a Traffic Ticket while on Private Property?
This is asked by people who have been stopped by the cops for a traffic offence while in their driveway or in a company’s parking area, which is private.
In general, police officers’ jurisdiction and authority are limited to highways and public roads under motor vehicle laws. There are, however, a few exceptions to the general norm. Consider the following examples:
- You have run a stop sign, according to the officer, and arrived at a commercial retail center (private property). This personal property is open to the general public. The cop had no problem pulling you over for running a stop sign.
- You have run a stop sign, according to the officer. You enter a private drive that leads to a private residence. The general public is not permitted entry. You might file trespassing charges if a regular individual entered this drive. To conduct a traffic stop, the police do not have the authority to access this private road.
- You have run a stop sign, according to the officer. At your home, you pull into your driveway. Your driveway is accessible to any resident. There’s no fence, and there’s no way to have a legitimate expectation of privacy. Anyone – from your next-door neighbors to kids peddling Girl Scout cookies – could contact you when you’re in your driveway. The officer has the same right as you to contact you.
Other Examples of Getting Tickets on Private Property
Getting traffic tickets can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. Even if we try to avoid them at all costs, sometimes accidents happen. Many car accidents are caused by drivers who run red lights or stop signs; an even larger percentage of drivers who cause these accidents are teenagers. If you’re in an accident that wasn’t your fault, one of your first questions should be whether or not it was on private property or public.
Parking Lots for Businesses and Traffic Tickets
As a general rule, it is not legal for a cop to write a ticket for a traffic rule violation that happened in a private business parking lot. If anyone is killed, an exception might be made.
Other exceptions may be possible depending on the property owner’s relationship with the police department. They may have hired private protection, or the landlord permitted the cops to execute traffic rules on the premises.
Traffic Tickets and Private Driveways
If the public generally has access to the private area or driveway, the validity of a ticket imposed on private property is determined. But on the other hand, having a gate or signs that forbid the general public, police officers will not be able to enter without probable cause or a warrant.
If you committed a traffic offence on a public road and then turned into your driveway, the officer can follow you and issue a ticket—unless the driveway is identified as a private drive with “no trespassing” signs. Even if the officer returns with a warrant, you will certainly be ticketed.
Do I Need an Attorney to Handle my Ticket?
If you’ve received a traffic ticket, but it happened while driving on private property, your chances of getting off scot-free are pretty good. If a cop issues a citation for speeding or running a red light while driving on private property, they have to make sure they can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are legally allowed to enforce these laws. They won’t be able to do so without an attorney involved in your case.
The Fine Points
It’s not a matter of whether or not your city issues tickets for speeding, running red lights, or making illegal turns. Speed limits are set at 15 miles per hour when driving through privately owned areas like housing complexes and big-box retailers.
Just because it’s considered private property doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous to drive recklessly through such areas.
All-Inclusive Legal Service Plans for Vacations
While going on vacations, try to go for an all-inclusive legal service plan to keep you from any troubles of driving tickets and traffic laws. Although many people think of inclusive as meaning inclusive of gratuities, all-inclusive is just about what it says—the full deal.
While rules bind most vacations, some perks accompany all-inclusive vacation packages. One such perk is that many travel packages offer legal services. For example, when booking an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation package. You may receive access to legal services during your trip if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to get a ticket in Texas on private property?
A police officer cannot issue a ticket for disobeying traffic control signs on private land. The shopping center parking lots have red lights and certain other speed limiting devices for your protection. Failure to follow their instructions could result in death or personal injury to you or others.
Is it possible to get a ticket in California on private property?
Private property owners are not authorized by state law to issue parking fines with monetary penalties to the owners of automobiles parked on their land.
Do you have to come to a halt when leaving a parking lot in Texas?
Stop signs aren’t always present in parking lots, but if you’re exiting a feeder lane (generally the ones that guide vehicles to respective parking areas), you need to yield to drivers on the main road. Anyone moving through the lane should yield to those reversing out from a parking place.
Is it legal to park in reverse in Texas?
In short, no, it is not illegal to ‘pull-through’ a car park in Texas. The majority of car parks are privately owned, which means that how Individuals Park and what is and is not allowed is entirely at the discretion of the corporation that owns the lot.
You can only be issued a traffic citation for an infraction committed in public as a general rule. Traffic laws do not apply to parking lots, driveways, or alleys. Therefore, if you drive in any of these places and are pulled over by police. They may not issue you a citation, but there are exceptions to this rule.
Sheena Whitlock, a property expert, and blogger with over 15 years of experience in the field. The knowledge and skills Sheena has acquired during her career have given her invaluable insight into the property management business.
She has done her Property Development BSc (Hons) from the University of Portsmouth and completed her Master’s Degrees in Property Management from the University of Chicago.
As a professional, she has spent time working for various companies as a property management officer and currently works at Asset Info Hub where she shares her knowledge and experience on various property matters with people around the world, questioning their queries via blogging and virtual consulting services.