Is signing the summons an admission of guilt?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 49,300
    Attorney Steve Duckett discusses if signing the summons is an admission of guilt.

    Steve Duckett

    Steven L. Duckett, Jr. was born and raised in the DC suburbs of Northern Virginia.  He attended Paul VI High School (1990), University of Richmond (1994) and Valparaiso University School of Law (1997).  Mr. Duckett has spent the entirety of his legal career practicing in criminal and traffic law.  He created the law firm of Steven L. Duckett, Jr., P.C. in April 2001. 

    Host: Is signing the summons an admission of guilt?

    Steve Duckett: Absolutely not, when the officer presents a summons to appear in court, all you're doing is simply acknowledging the existence of the charge and if necessary it's a promise that you will appear in court. It's not an admission of guilt. So you should always sign the summons. The alternative to sign your summons is you could be placed under arrest even for a small thing because the officer has one of two choices; he can either arrest you or release you on summons. In 90% of the traffic cases out there, they choose to release you on summons. If they make that choice you shouldn't force their hand by inviting an arrest by arguing with them about whether or not you should sign the summons. Every state has different laws, but in Virginia if you don't sign the summons the officer will arrest you.