Home Law Facts How often do Cops show up for traffic court?

How often do Cops show up for traffic court?

How often do cops run plates

If you’re wondering how often do cops show up for Traffic Court and how a case would proceed in such a situation, then this article addresses your questions and concerns about traffic court.

Several factors determine whether the cop who accosted and issued you a ticket for a road traffic violation will be there to make a case against you in traffic court. Read on to know more.

How often do Cops show up for Traffic Court?

How often do Cops show up for traffic court, nolo contendere


The straightforward answer is, nearly all the time. There are several measures that is put in place in the police department to motivate cops to show up in traffic court. Barring an unforeseen occurrence, a cop would rather show up than not.

The foremost reason that determine how often cops do show up for traffic court is the job description. Cops are, as part of their job, required to show up in traffic court, failure to do so will attract undesirable performance evaluation.

Just like many professions, consistent poor evaluation and scoring low on key performance indicators such as turning up for traffic court translates into loss of certain benefits such as being overlooked for positions, raise etc. Any cop that cares about their career progression will almost always make it to court.

What could make a cop not show up in traffic court?

It is quite possible for a cop not to show up for traffic court. Such absence could be due to several factors including:

  • Illness: If a cop is indisposed due to illness, he or she surely will not show up in court.
  • Personal emergency: Cops have personal life and emergencies too that may require immediate attention. Such situations could render a cop indisposed to attend a traffic court.
  • Resignation: If a cop decides to resign from the force before a court date is due, he certainly wouldn’t be in court.
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Can you get a court appointed attorney for traffic court?

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Depending on the circumstances surrounding the ticket, one may or may not get a court appointed attorney for traffic court if they cannot hire one on their own.

The court is not obligated to appoint an attorney for speeding tickets unless in special cases such as a reckless driving charge where there’s a possibility of jail time.

However, a person can decide to hire an attorney at his/her own expense. It must be noted that, most traffic violations never make it to a full blown trial.

What does no contest mean in traffic court (nolo contendere)

Also known as Nolo Contendere, pleading “no contest” means a person accepts the responsibility and punishment for a traffic violation without admitting guilt. There are several reasons why people plead no contest. These include:

  1.  Avoiding trial: Going to trial is time consuming and can be expensive. A nolo contendere plea will take these away and also ward off any adverse rulings by the court.
  2.  No guilty verdict: A guilty verdict can be used against you if a civil suit arise from the traffic violation. Also a no contest plea ensures that the plea is not used against defendant in future civil or criminal cases.
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What to wear to traffic court

Usually, what you wear to court is not the focus and shouldn’t affect your case anyway. But, as humans, we are impressionable. Knowing this fact of life will guide what you wear to traffic court to make the best impression, which again does not guarantee leniency; only the hope that you may appear responsible to the judge and his court.

It is okay to wear a suit and tie or a dress for younger people. Working people can dress appropriately as they would for work.

Westwego traffic court

The traffic court in the city of Westwego can be found at 410 4th St, Westwego, LA 70094. The court  sits twice a month to listen to traffic cases.

How often do cops run plates

How often do cops run plates

Cops can run plates almost every time they have reason to suspect a traffic regulation is being violated by a motorist. A cop may choose to run a plate for example when they’re behind you in a traffic. Such plate runs are random, but a cop needs to have reasonable suspicion to pull you over.

Cops on traffic patrol routinely run plates for many reasons, including checking if the plate matches the vehicle registration, to verify whether the registered owner has a valid license among other reasons.

When a cop runs a plate, the following information are retrieved from the database:

  • Vehicle information such as brand, model, year, and color
  • Registration status
  • Registered owner
  • License status of registered owner
  • Warrant status

Cops immediately get an alert if the vehicle and registration is reported stolen. If there’s a problem with any of the aforementioned, this will be a good reason for the cops to stop you. Usually, if you’re buckled up, sober and not over-speeding, getting pulled up by cops is rare. But be reminded that there’s no legal or operational restriction on how often a cop can run plates.

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In the case of Kansas v. Glover, the supreme court held that a cop can stop and charge you if your plate is run without a stop and it is realized you were driving with a suspended license.

This effectively means a cop can run your plate at anytime and if there’s a violation of traffic rules, e.g. suspended license, expired insurance, stolen vehicle etc., you can be stopped and charged, and it wouldn’t constitute a violation of your 4th amendment.

Finally, traffic cameras in some states, are equipped with Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) which scans plates within field of view, stores image, time and other metadata, while comparing the plate to information in the database. This is usually used by law enforcement in search for wanted crime suspects.


Banking your hopes on a cop not showing up for traffic court is not a good approach. How often Cops show up for Traffic Court depend on the factors discussed above.


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