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Old 03-17-2009, 10:53 PM   #1
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offroad vehicle ticket

It was a nice day here in Indianapolis today so nice that I decided to take the top off my jeep and go fishing well made it to the creek and started to shut my jeep off when this ranger pulled up, He got out and asked me for my license and whatnot and when I asked him what the problem was he said I was driving on public property and proceeded to write me a ticket. He wrote me up for having a " Offroad vehicle on public lands " I was maybe 40ft of the main road on a beeten path and I was not tearing nothing up or anything. Should I just pay this stupid ticket or should I contest it in court this is a complete load of crap I don't know why people have to be A$$holes somtimes.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:34 PM   #2
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Is the ticket considered a moving violation that will go on your driving record or more of a parking ticket that you pay and you are done? If it is the latter, I would just pay it as it is your word against the ranger. Also, I just thought, does the ranger have authority to give moving citations? Just a couple of things to think about. I don't know IN laws so don't take what I say as fact.

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Old 03-18-2009, 02:02 AM   #3
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wow that seems a little weak sauce to me!

whats the cost of just paying the ticket?

like mentioned above... will it go against you? I.E. a moving violation.
if not, its probably less effort to just pay it (but depending on the fee)

maybe call your insurance agent and tell him what happened. see if it will hurt you in any way.

keep us posted , id like to know.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:01 AM   #4
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I don't know how much it is or is going to be, Chances are I'm not going to pay it I'll just submit for a court date and go to court. There was a group of kids dirtbiking across the creek while he was writing me this ticket I asked him why me and not them because they were clearly tearing up the land but he didn't have much to say he knew he was being an A$$.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:06 AM   #5
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Well, 1st off. Was this a state or federal park you where at? 2nd, where there ANY signs that said no vehicles beyond this point? How wide was this "Path" you where on. Reason being a road per the US forest service is 50" or wider, unless its called out as a trail as I recall. Look into :Forest Service
36 CFR Parts 212, 251, 261, and 295
Travel Management; Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:16 AM   #6
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I would like to know who exactly this "Public" is....seems he owns all the land and we can't use it anymore. I used to think I was a part of "public".
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:28 AM   #7
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wow.. that sucks.. i live in kokomo and i got a parking ticket at purdue a few months back.. it went on my record and i paid it off that week.. ive had 3 speeding tickets all in the pre-trail and i never seen them on my record lol..

id say go to court and see if the guy shows up.. more than likely he wont.. if he does then just pay the ticket and walk away =p id call the courthouse and see what you can do about it
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:35 AM   #8
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sounds like ranger rick is hi on his measely power. i didn't know rangers could even write tickets. see what you can do about it, i'd go to court.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:02 AM   #9
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yah i would go to court and fight it.. id even be like while he was writing my ticket there were a few kids riding around on a dirt bike.. i would tell the judge that you weren't even offroading that you were just back there fishing.. i would go back and walk the trail and find a sign thats posted saying not to go back there.. if there is no such sign then you have permission to travel back there.. especially since the ranger said it was public land

indiana authorities = dicks.. they dont have any laws allowing them to pull our wranglers over for ride height and tires stickin out.. so they gotta get us somehow
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:02 AM   #10
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I don't know about your laws but here in Washington rangers have full law enforcement authority.
Here a trail or road does not have to be posted to be closed to vehicle travel, it's up to the user to determine if it's open or not by checking with the appropriate office.
We also require land use permit tags on vehicles. They're free with fishing hunting licenses or you can buy em.

Amy was hassled last year for being on a trail, the ranger told her that you were only allowed to travel roads that could be traversed by 2 wheel drive vehicles, if the trail or road required 4 wheel drive it was off limits to vehicles. I bet they'd be a little surprised by where can go in a 2 wheel drive baja bug
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:48 AM   #11
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Actually, Indiana DNR have crazy amounts of power. I watched them haul a group of kids in and impound all four of their vehicles for trashing a campsite in a preserved area of Hoosier National Forest. I was hiking out as DNR was bringin these douches in that were breaking bottles on trees and just chucking their trash in the woods. I talked to one of the officers for a while and he seemed like a cool guy, but I bet they have their bad apples too.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:14 PM   #12
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There was no signs posted that say you can't travel on the road and its considered public property because the public park backs up to it . I have a fishing and hunting license and have been going to this same spot for 3 years now without a problem.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:09 PM   #13
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I wonder if he would write a ticket for a different vehicle in the same place doing the same thing if it weren't an "Offroad" vehicle? Say maybe a 4 door sedan or a little econobox?
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:00 PM   #14
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It was a nice day here in Indianapolis today so nice that I decided to take the top off my jeep and go fishing well made it to the creek and started to shut my jeep off when this ranger pulled up, He got out and asked me for my license and whatnot and when I asked him what the problem was he said I was driving on public property and proceeded to write me a ticket. He wrote me up for having a " Offroad vehicle on public lands " I was maybe 40ft of the main road on a beeten path and I was not tearing nothing up or anything. Should I just pay this stupid ticket or should I contest it in court this is a complete load of crap I don't know why people have to be A$$holes somtimes.
I am just curious if this road is not to be driven upon, why was a ranger driving there? What type of vehicle was he in?
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:07 PM   #15
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sounds like ranger rick is hi on his measely power. i didn't know rangers could even write tickets. see what you can do about it, i'd go to court.
you'd be surprised. My one and only neighbor is a forest ranger and I didnt think so either until I saw his gun and his DEC badge. All I can say is no one tried to do any hunting around my house this year. I do like seeing that DEC F250 parked in his driveway, it's better then an alarm system.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:00 PM   #16
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my dad was a game warden for awhile here in va, im not too sure what he told me all those years ago, but i am pretty certain he told me that they have the same power as police officers but do not need a warrant to search anything.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:15 PM   #17
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man, thats weird, everyone elses rangers are hardcore. maybe cuz i live in the midwest, north of chicago, and the only things we have rangers for is a few small forest preserves. we call them rent a cops.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:32 PM   #18
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i would have asked where the sign was..... but i would go to court yahoo prolly wont show and you tell them what you did. he must have seen you having a good time with top down in the sun and got jealous. what if it would have been a ford escort would that be a ORV too dang
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:04 PM   #19
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man, thats weird, everyone elses rangers are hardcore. maybe cuz i live in the midwest, north of chicago, and the only things we have rangers for is a few small forest preserves. we call them rent a cops.
We call them the 2.5 cause there only half of the 5-0. Around us they are generally good guys though. The only time I hear of them getting pissed is when people hunt from their vehicles on public roads.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:54 PM   #20
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I hate these new laws too, but as a cop I am familiar with the format. So, hear is the best advice I can give. First, the guy has full peace officer powers which means he can enforce any law statewide. The fact that someone else violated the law too will never work in any court. Additionally, saying "he did it too" is an admission that you did violate the law. Simply, you can't win by disputing the ticket. The way around it is to demand your day in court and roll the dice. Officers get busy with other stuff, take vacations, ect, and sometimes miss court. If he doesn't show, you win. If he does show, plead guilty to the judge, with an explanation that you didn't know it was public land because no signs were posted and ask the fine to be reduced. BE NICE...a good attitude goes a long way. Good luck.

As a side note..Officers get stuck enforcing laws they don't like every day. Don't be mad at him. Be mad at the dork politician that made the law. Contact your representative and be the squeeky wheel.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:46 AM   #21
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I hate these new laws too, but as a cop I am familiar with the format. So, hear is the best advice I can give. First, the guy has full peace officer powers which means he can enforce any law statewide. The fact that someone else violated the law too will never work in any court. Additionally, saying "he did it too" is an admission that you did violate the law. Simply, you can't win by disputing the ticket. The way around it is to demand your day in court and roll the dice. Officers get busy with other stuff, take vacations, ect, and sometimes miss court. If he doesn't show, you win. If he does show, plead guilty to the judge, with an explanation that you didn't know it was public land because no signs were posted and ask the fine to be reduced. BE NICE...a good attitude goes a long way. Good luck.

As a side note..Officers get stuck enforcing laws they don't like every day. Don't be mad at him. Be mad at the dork politician that made the law. Contact your representative and be the squeeky wheel.


Well said. I think folks forget that sometimes.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:17 AM   #22
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Well said. I think folks forget that sometimes.
While I agree, I think the real complaint was the way the guy approached enforcement. He could just as easily have told OP that he wasn't supposed to be there and told him to leave or given him a written warning. Problem solved.

OP, what does "Offroad Vehicle" mean in your state? Here it isn't one if you have it registered and insured, i.e. street legal to drive. If you have a similar vehicle code in your neck of the woods you can't really be cited for doing anything with an offroad vehicle because you don't have one.

I wouldn't expect to get much out of there being no signs telling you not to be there. It is usually your responsibility to know whether or not you can be somewhere, not their responsibility to tell you.

Our game rangers have as much power as regular LEOs most of the time and more power the rest of the time. I learned a long time ago that if I needed access to and escort on a piece of land to call a game ranger. The police/sheriff/state troopers have to have either a reason or a warrant to go somewhere. A game ranger can go anywhere he wants for whatever reason he wants as long as he can articulate that reason to be a function of his job, and that's not hard.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:20 AM   #23
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Park Rangers can pull you over all day. They are a federal enforcement agency.

If it was DNR, and youd know if he was in a OD Dodge 1500 or Ford Explorer. Then he can do that same. Not sure where you were but if its public lands and you were just fishing it seems kinda over the top.

Where were you at in Indy?
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:53 AM   #24
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I'm in Indiana as well. I spend most of my time on my own land though. Didn't know you couldn't do that. Maybe someone called you in. I find that many times when police or ranger show up, it's in response to a call, or a directive from a superior to beef up enforcement.

Rangers though, as mentioned about, are Federal Officers and have ridiculous amounts of power. Most are usually pretty decent though. But, they are just people after all. And who knows, everyone is entitled to bad days I suppose.

Still crappy though.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:15 AM   #25
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Wow guys this thread is two and a half years old
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:06 PM   #26
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That is funny. God bless the new guy showing up digging a thread out of retirement!
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:21 PM   #27
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Lol a good read
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:34 AM   #28
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So whatever happened?
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:55 AM   #29
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man, thats weird, everyone elses rangers are hardcore. maybe cuz i live in the midwest, north of chicago, and the only things we have rangers for is a few small forest preserves. we call them rent a cops.
But our rangers are more worried about real crimes in them forest preserves.
Chasing someone in a jeep isn't worth their time, they just call the local or lake county cops in.
Most of the rangers I've talked to up here over the years are good people. They care more about safety.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:39 PM   #30
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