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Posted at 05:15 PM ET, 10/24/2011

Here are 159 minor things D.C. officers can arrest you for

An outtake from the recent controversy over expired-tag arrests: One of the reasons the District’s erstwhile policy was both objectionable and little-noticed is that police officers had discretion over whether or not to arrest a driver whose registration had lapsed.

Expired tags, as it happens, were just one of 160 misdemeanor offenses where officers can choose either to take offenders into custody or to write them what is essentially a glorified ticket.

The full list can be perused in a Metropolitan Police Department document issued in December 2005 outlining the proper procedure for issuing such a “violation citation,” or Form 61D. (It’s online as part of a trove of official department documents released to the nonprofit Partnership for Civil Justice in 2009.)

The list contains a number of other small-bore offenses that you might not realize can land you in jail — stuff like operating a radar detector, storing building materials in an alley, climbing a street lamp, leaving your dog’s excrement untended, or digging for fishing bait in Rock Creek Park.

Metropolitan Police officers are allowed to let violators off if they have “reason to believe that the violator will not cause injury to persons or damage to property, and will make an appearance in answer to the citation.” (Officers in other departments also issue 61Ds, but might have different procedures for doing so.)

The offender has 15 days to report to a police station, where they can choose to contest the charge in court or forfeit their right to a court date if they agree to forfeit some money, too.

According to police union chairman Kris Baumann, the list is “still good as near as we can tell” and was included in a list of active department directives as recently as August. I have queried the police department on whether any offenses should be added or subtracted and, if so, will update.

Herewith, the list:

TRAFFIC
Allow Operation W/ Improper Tags
Apportioned Tags Violations
Colliding With Pedestrian
Display Expired Tags [repealed by D.C. Council]
Fail To Exhibit Permit
Fail To Exhibit Registration
Fail To Give Right Of Way To Pedestrian
Fail To Identify Self-Pedestrian
Improper Use Of Dealer Tags
Radar Detection Device
Towing — Failure to Clear Accident Debris
Towing — Failure to Display License Properly
Towing — Failure to Inform DPW of Public Tow
Towing — Failure to Mark Tow Truck Properly
Towing — Failure to Permit Proper Inspection
Towing — Failure to Provide “Owner Bill of Rights”
Towing — Initiating Private Tow Without Written Consent
Towing — No Towing Control Number
Towing — Operating a Storage Lot Without a License
Towing — Operating Without a Valid Towing License
Towing — Other Offense Not Specifically Identified
Towing — Unauthorized Removal of Accident Vehicle
Towing — Unauthorized Towing Service At Accident
Towing — Unlawful Deposit of Inoperable Vehicle
Towing — Unlawful Scanner
Towing — Unlawful Towing from Private Property
Towing — Unsafe Towing
Towing — Unsecured Storage Lot
NON-TRAFFIC
Advert. Mat. — Scattered
Animals — Other than Dogs at Large
Auctioneers
Barbed Wire Fences — Public Space
Bees within 500 ft. of Human Habitation
Builders — Building Material on Roadway
Builders — Building Material Stored in Alleys
Builders — Fail to Place Light on Obstruction of Roadway/Sidewalk
Builders — Failure to Store Building Materials on Private Property
Builders — Use of Public Space without Permit
Construction Code Violations
Dangerous Object on Street/Sewer
Deface Public Footway/Roadway
Distribute Handbills — Public Space
Dogs — At Large
Dogs - Disturbing the Peace
Dogs - Maintain Collar
Dogs - Menacing People
Dogs - Unleashed
Dogs - Private Property
Dogs - Vaccination Required
Dogs - Vaccination Tag Required
Dogs - Excrement on Public/Private Property
Expired Commission - Campus Sec. Officer
Expired Commission - Special Pol. Officer
Failure to Obey Order to Remedy Dangerous Condition
False Alarm
Fire Code - Failure to Obey Order (generally)
Fireworks - Deliver 12H
Fireworks - Discharge
Fireworks - Possession
Fireworks - Sell
Fishing - By Other than Rod Hook and Line 12H
Fishing - Commercial Fishing 12H
Fishing - Digging for Bait in Rock Creek Park 12H
Fishing - Dip Net Exceeding Size
Fishing - Exceeding Limit for Species
Fishing - Failure to Attach License Number to Eel Trap
Fishing - Failure to Check Eel Trap
Fishing - Failure to Display a Fishing License
Fishing - Fishing with Seine or Cast Net
Fishing - Fishing Without a License
Fishing - More than 2 Hooks Per Line
Fishing - More than 3 Lines
Fishing - Net Fishing in Rock Creek Park
Fishing - Operating in Excess of 5 Eel Traps
Fishing - Poss. Species with Size Limit Head/Tail Removed
Fishing - Possession of Endangered/Threatened Species
Fishing - Possession of Undersized Fish
Fishing - Take/Catch/Possess Striped Bass/Hybrid Striped Bass (Out of Season)
Fishing - Taking Catching or Possessing Sturgeon
Fishing - With Snag Hook
Fowls Without Permit
Harbor Regs - Accident Fail to Assist
Harbor Regs - Accident Fail to Report Personal Injury
Harbor Regs - Accident Fail to Report Property Damage
Harbor Regs - Accident Identify Self & Vessel
Harbor Regs - Canoe Safety Fail to Instruct
Harbor Regs - Entering Diving Area
Harbor Regs - Entering Restricted Area
Harbor Regs - Fail to comply with Fed Anchor Light regs
Harbor Regs - Fail to Give Harbor Master Change Name/Address
Harbor Regs - Fail to Obtain Permit for Marine Event
Harbor Regs - Fail to Provide Equipment Livery Boat
Harbor Regs - Fail to Yield for Emergency Vessel
Harbor Regs - Failure to Comply with Navigation Rules
Harbor Regs - Failure to Comply Equipment Standards
Harbor Regs - Failure to Register Vessel
Harbor Regs - Failure to Wear Flotation Device -Operator & Person under 18
Harbor Regs - Flotation Device - Suff. Number Approved Suitable Accessible
Harbor Regs - Flotation Device Children under 13
Harbor Regs - Hazardous Condition/Fail to Correct
Harbor Regs - ID Number- Give or Display
Harbor Regs - Land Amphibian Craft Without Permission
Harbor Regs - Livery Fail to Keep Records
Harbor Regs - Minor Operate Without Certificate
Harbor Regs - Minor-Rent boat to
Harbor Regs - Mooring Buoy-Place or Fail to Remove
Harbor Regs - Muffler- Improper
Harbor Regs - Navigation Lights -Improper Display
Harbor Regs - Negligent Operation
Harbor Regs - Noise
Harbor Regs - Obstructing Channel
Harbor Regs - Obstructing Docks
Harbor Regs - Operation without Boating Safety Certificate
Harbor Regs - Polluting Waters
Harbor Regs - Speed
Harbor Regs - Sunken Vessel Fail to Notify Harbor Master
Harbor Regs - Sunken Vessel Fail to Raise After Notification
Harbor Regs - Tie to Bridge or Seawall
Harbor Regs - Tie to Buoy
Harbor Regs - Tie to Navigation Aid
Harbor Regs - Validation Sticker - Fail to Obtain
Harbor Regs - Validation Sticker- Fail to Display
Harbor Regs - Violation of Water Contact/Water Sport Regs.
Harbor Regs - Fail to Notify Transfer/Destr./Theft/Abandon./Recovery/Doc.
Housing Code Violations
Photographer Violations
Photographer - More than 5 minutes at location
Poster - Lewd
Public Sewer, Misuse of
Public Sewers Inflammable Liquids
Public Space Obligations of Owners and Abutting Space
Public Space Selling Vehicles
Public Space Soliciting Employment
Public Space Soliciting Passengers
Public Space Storing Merchandise
Public Space Wet Paint/Other Substance without Warning Device
Public Toilets - Misconduct
Rodent Control
Sale of Cigarettes to a Minor
Second Hand Dealer - Failure to Keep Article Time Required
Second Hand Dealer - Failure to Keep Records Time Required
Snow Removal Railroad Track
Street Lamps - Climbing
Street Lamps - Damage or Break
Street Lamps - Hitching Animals to
Street Lamps - Signs or Ads
Taxi Violations - Loitering
Tent / Temporary Abode Regulation Violation
Transp. Manure
Transp. Trash
Transportation of Materials Improper
Unlicensed Driving Instructor
Unlicensed Parking Lot
Vending - Cry out
Vending - Improper Vending Vehicle
Vending - Longer than Necessary
Vending - Restricted Area
Vending - Restricted Hrs.
Vending - Vending without a License
Water Regulations, Violation of

By  |  05:15 PM ET, 10/24/2011

 
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