Can I have a traffic citation dismissed since there are 3 important errors on the ticket?

Asked over 4 years ago - Charlotte, NC

I was issued a citation for failure to stop at a stop sign. There were several irregularities with the citation. The first is that my last name was spelled wrong on the ticket. The second is that the location of the violation is wrong. The city of Charlotte and the city of Matthews share a boundary. A Matthews officer issued the ticket and wrote on the ticket that the intersection where stop sign is located is in Matthews. In fact, the intersection is in Charlotte, not Matthews. Matthews is a half mile away. Third, the officer wrote the license plate number down incorrectly on the ticket.

Can I have this ticket dismissed? If so, what are the grounds or statutes that apply. I don't know the legaleese very well, so I would appreciate any help you can provide.

Additional information

I forgot to mention a couple minor points. The Matthews officer was parked in my Charlotte neighborhood, & observing a Charlotte intersection at the time of the alleged infraction. I was also pulled over in Charlotte. I asked the officer, "aren't we in Charlotte, and can a Matthews officer write a ticket for Charlotte?" He said he could write a ticket, since he was empowered by the state, and not his municipality. He also assured me we were in Matthews. (He is wrong though, as the GIS boundary map proves) He also said something about having a 1 mile leeway, but I don't know what he meant.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Stephen F Wallace

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . You need an attorney to try this infraction in front of a judge if you press the jurisdictional issue and the officer's right to issue citations outside of his jurisdiction. Unless you have the statutes, maps and all necessary evidence to put on a proper case in Mecklenburg County District Court, you may want to work out an alternative plea. Some sort of prayer for judgment or non moving violation is better than losing this in court and getting the full brunt of the consequences. Errors in your citation are not a defense and will not relieve you of your infraction. It will be worth your time to consult with a local traffic attorney that may be able to use your information, but I do not advise you to try this case in that court by yourself.

  2. Carnell T Johnson

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . Possibly. There is something known as a fatal variance. You should speak with an attorney regarding this matter.

    The information provided herein should not be construed as legal advice.

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