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Can a solicitor change a charge once trial begins?

Smyrna, GA |

My friend got a ticket for driving through a safety zone. However, through research it turns out what he really did was drive over a gore. If he pleads not guilty and goes to trial, can the solicitor change the charge to the correct one if he realizes the officer made a mistake? What if trial begins, like once the officer begins to testify, can the solicitor change the charge if it becomes obvious the officer wrote the ticket for the wrong code violation?

Attorney Answers 4


The solicitor cannot change the charge once the trial begins. Once the officer has been sworn in for a bench trial, or a jury has been sworn in a jury trial, it is too late for the solicitor to amend/change the charges. The solicitor can change/amend charges before a trial starts.

James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.

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7 lawyers agree


Only in Juvenile court, otherwise, no.

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2 lawyers agree


No, not once the trial has started.

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You should consult an Attorney that handles Traffic cases in the jurisdiction you received the citation to evaluate your options.

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