I recently received a speeding ticket (73 in a 55) in Texas. I didn't realize the speed had changed, but that is neither here nor there. The offense occurred on 2-27-2016; however, the officer listed the date on the ticket as 3-27-2016. I called the courts and they said that they could amend it and send me a new copy.

When an officer signs a ticket, he is saying that all information is correct; but if one piece of information, namely the date (an important fact) is incorrect, then I think there is reason to believe the rest could be incorrect as well.

Is this grounds for dismissal? Is this legal? Should I just pay the ticket because I would lose fighting it in court?

  • Was the rest of the info incorrect? – user3851 Mar 8 '16 at 16:41
  • Perhaps you could fight the ticket by establishing an alibi for yourself and your vehicle on March 27th. – phoog Mar 8 '16 at 16:49
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    Establishing an alibi should be pretty easy as that date has not occurred yet, unless the OP drives a DeLorean. – mikeazo Mar 8 '16 at 17:51
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    What will you say when the same officer signs a corrected ticket and you're charged with that instead? – Olathe Mar 18 '16 at 2:32
  • AFAIK, legal courts can do anything that legal courts support. – user2338816 Sep 30 '16 at 7:05

The officer is saying that he believes the information to be correct, but a clerical error or typo isn't a question of saying something that you don't believe to be correct, it is a question of incorrectly putting what the officer believes to paper, often in a context where the mistake is obvious, without an intent to mislead.

You would not prevail in court. Courts have broad authority to correct clerical errors even years after the fact. In civil actions in federal court this is authorized by Rule 60. But, almost all courts have this authority with respect to court process which includes traffic tickets.

Since it is clearly a typo, it would not cast doubt on the integrity or accuracy of other statements in the ticket. A typo reflects fat fingers, not dishonesty.

  • Actually, you could prevail in court, depending on the jurisdiction, how busy the court is, how serious the offence. Things like this get kicked all the time - because its "too hard". (I've gotten off a ticket because they put XXX place instead of XXX road on it, and got flumoxed when I actually appeared and pleaded not guilty!) – davidgo Feb 5 '17 at 3:00

You shouldn't have asked that the ticket be amended. You should have taken it to trial and then shown how the officer made the mistake. They could always say it was just a mistake, but then you could argue to the jury (or judge) that if the officer made that mistake, he could have been mistaken with your speed too.

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    You could argue a lot of things. That doesn't make them relevant, and even if relevant, that doesn't make them useful to present or likely to succeed. – Nij Feb 3 '17 at 10:01
  • In traffic courts in Texas, which is the state the OP mentioned, most traffic tickets are heard in JP or municipal courts before a judge that is probably not even an attorney. A person can get away with lots of things there. I still say that asking that the ticket be amended is like asking for what the OP is being accused of to be clarified. – mark b Feb 3 '17 at 17:36

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