Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 2 months ago

Could I get out of a speeding ticket this way?

I am a natural born US citizen. but my grandparents immigrated, lawfully, from Serbia, in the 1950s, Serbia being a small European Country in the Balkan region.

But I have a great deal of family who still live in Serbia, and I have been fluent in Serbian from a young age.

Say that I get pulled over for speeding, and I just randomly start speaking Serbian to the cop, as if I don't speak any English?

I have the right to understand the charges against me, do I not?

Welp, there are very few people in the US that know a single word of Serbian. A surprising number of people have never even heard of the country. 

That causes a challenge for the cop, as not only would it be much more difficult to find a translator than for most other languages, but also the cop has to figure out just what on Earth it is that I am speaking in the first place.

As cops have discretion on whether to issue a speeding ticket or a warning, is it likely the cop would just think: "screw it," and motion for me to be on my way?

10 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    Serbia?  I know sinisa mihajlovich , 

  • 2 months ago

    IF you succeed in convincing the officer you don't understand traffic laws, you will be ARRESTED for driving illegally.

  • Archer
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    They will write you the ticket and then ensure you have a translator in court. Your driving tests were in English now weren't they!

  • Bruce
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It would not work for me, or any other officers I know. 

    1. Your right to understand charges applies to crimes, not traffic infractions. 

    2. If you are a natural born citizen, you have a drivers license from a US State. Passing the test proves you understand traffic law. 

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Just pay the ticket.

  • Expat
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    No. It won’t work. 

  • 2 months ago

    I had a roommate in college who was raised in France, and had a French driver's license (and an American license).  When he got stopped, he'd show his French license and pretend not to speak English.  A cop checked him out once and learned he was lying, and he spent a weekend in jail.  AND he had to pay the ticket.

    I think most of the time it would work.  The cop's in a hurry, maybe he doesn't suspect you, etc.  But that one time he goes back to the cop car with your foreign license, then you're gonna get it!

  • Edwena
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It won't work.  If you act too dumb, they will put you in jail while they figure out how you can drive a car legally.  Like if you speak only Serbian, how did you have a driver's license?  What is more likely is that the cops would notify immigration and the next day you would be on a plane to Serbia to visit your relatives.   So, your idea may work for getting a free trip back to the old country, but not for getting out of a traffic ticket.

  • 2 months ago

    You can be detained for up to 48 hours without charges or arraignment. If that happened, they would take you into custody, take you to to the police station, and hold you there until they figured out what language you were speaking and find someone to translate. Do you really think "I don't speak English" would get you out of a crime?

  • Carson
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    Can confirm that I've had friends get out of tickets this way, and it's totally within your right to do so from my understanding.

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