Last year, I got a ticket from the police for violating a pedestrian redlight signal. They issued the ticket to me but spelled my name wrong. I emailed them to fight it in court, and now they have just sent it to my address for a hearing date. Should I go? Since the ticket is not issued in my name, I feel that it is not applicable to me.


Whatever crime or infraction you are charged with, it applies to you personally however they spell your name and however you spell your name. Whether or not you should go depends on the alternative that you face (large fine or jail time for failure to appear?). An argument that you didn't commit the offence because they misspelled your name would hold zero water.

  • Ahh, but follow the process threw. There will then be a judgement, but not against you. How would this be enforced?
    – davidgo
    Nov 13 '19 at 20:26
  • @davidgo: If you appear and agree with the charges as written, you agree that the name applies to you. If you dispute the name in court, it will be fixed and the judgement will go against your correct name.
    – MSalters
    Nov 14 '19 at 20:37
  • @MSalters but thats the rub - the OP is asking if he should ignore it and not go to court. Presumably a judgement will then be entered against a different entity, so I don't see that you would be liable for it. Yes, if they amend the ticket or charge its a different story, but I think they very often don't - for reasons I don't understand.
    – davidgo
    Nov 14 '19 at 23:16

If your sole defense to the charge is that they spelled your name wrong, then pay the fine and move on. They have at least two pieces of identifying information: your name, and your address. If it is a gross misspelling, such as "zzyx" instead of "John," you might have an argument. But if it's "Jon" instead of "John," it's close enough. Unless there happens to be someone else living at your address whose name matches the misspelling, then "close enough" will be good enough. How could you reasonably deny it's not you?

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