is it legal for an officer to issue a citation a day or two after a car accident instead of at the scene?

The driver hit two pedestrians. Neither was seriously hurt. All witnesses say that it was not the drivers fault because the pedestrians walked into the road without looking for traffic. The officer on the scene did not issue a ticket or citation because he also believed that the driver was not at fault.

Asked on July 2, 2009 under Accident Law, Wisconsin


J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT and practice in this area of the law.  If the officer did not issue a ticket at the scene of the acident, you want to get a copy of the police report to see what it says about fault.  Police may issue tickets afterwards by mailing them, but usually the police issue the tickets right then and there. You can get a copy of the police report 7 days or so after the accident by going to the police station in the town the accident happended in.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is not usual might not as uncommon as you might think.  And yes, it is legal.  However, I'm not certain on what basis the ticket was issue after the fact and whether or not the officer had sufficient information to do so.  I would like to know if anyone else received a citation.

Bottom line, the ticket could be issued but that doesn't mean that you are guilty.  You need to fight this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.