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Officer Arrests Woman Who Lied to Avoid Ticket

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on August 07, 2013 11:13 AM

Lying to get out of a speeding ticket may not be the best move, as a New Hampshire woman has learned. A state trooper tracked her down and arrested her at her home, after she allegedly told the officer a lie about her dying father.

Carley Williams, 28, of Nashua, was pulled over Friday night for speeding. She allegedly told Trooper Christopher J. Cummings that she was on the way to the hospital to see her father who she claimed had "stage 4 cancer," reports ABC News.

How did an alleged traffic ticket lie end with Williams' arrest?

Traffic Stop for Speeding

Williams was pulled over for allegedly traveling "82 mph in a 65 mph zone," and when asked if there was an emergency, she told Cummings that she had to "make it to the hospital before [her father] passed," reports ABC.

Officers can issue a citation for a violation of traffic laws, like New Hampshire's speeding law. That would have meant a $250 ticket for Williams if Cummings hadn't let her off due to her alleged lie about her dying dad.

Infractions like speeding tickets are not generally arrestable offenses because they cannot be punished by incarceration. But Williams was later arrested by Cummings once he discovered her alleged deception.

Allegedly Lying to an Officer

Cummings first called the hospital Williams had mentioned, but her father was not there. He then searched online and found an obituary for Williams' father, who apparently died in 2008. Further investigation dug up the fact that Williams' car registration had been suspended, according to ABC.

In many states, making false statements to police may be a crime, but in New Hampshire, there is no specific law describing making false, unwritten statements to an officer as a criminal offense.

Decently close is New Hampshire's law against unsworn falsification, which makes it a misdemeanor to "[invite] reliance on any writing which he or she knows to be lacking in authenticity" to a public servant in his official capacity.

It's a bit of a stretch for Williams, who was arrested by Cummings at her home on Sunday for driving with a suspended registration, which is also a misdemeanor.

Arrestable Offense

Not every criminal offense is an "arrestable" offense, which is what prevents police officers from arresting drivers for a simple speeding ticket.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that state law can enable even traffic offenses, like violations of seat belt laws, to be authorized as arrestable misdemeanor offenses. New Hampshire law expressly authorizes an officer to arrest someone who commits a misdemeanor in his presence.

Unfortunately for Williams, her alleged lie called attention to her suspended registration, and motivated her arresting officer to bring her to justice.

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