Is a parking ticket valid if the licence plate number is incorrect and there is no other information?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Saint Paul, MN

I received a citation while my car was parked on the street for expired tabs. 1) my licence plate number was recorded wrong, off by one digit and 2) i actually purchased my tabs on time but forgot to put them on/ lost them and had to get re-issued tabs.
There was no information on the ticket besides licence and car description because it was issued as a parking ticket. Since my the information is incorrect and they have no way of identifying me, is the ticket voidable? and if not, can i bring in a receipt showing that i originally purchased the tabs on time to get the ticket dismissed?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Thomas C Gallagher

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . An element of every crime that must be proved by the state is identification. That is one of the most fundamental tenets of criminal law. The burden of proving each element of any crime claimed, is on the prosecution. The defendant has no duty to help the government convict them by telling them information. This is powerfully anchored in the Fifth Amendment. If the government cannot identify you, then they should not be able to charge you with a crime. Police officers can write citations alleging so-called tab charges of minor crimes, but these are subject to review and approval by a prosecutor. If you do not respond to the ticket, I question whether you will be charged since according to the facts you state here, they may not be able to identify the vehicle or its owner. It is a stange but known phenomenon, that some have put the ticket the find on their car, onto a nearby car, hoping the other driver will not notice and just pay it.

  2. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The licence plate number being off by one digit will not invalidate the citation.

    Negotiating a good resolution given the circumstances of your case will take an attorney familiar with the policies and procedures of the court where the matter is pending.

    It may be worth your while to consult with a traffic attorney familiar with the judges and practices in the court where you received the ticket to explore your options.

    Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.

    Good luck to you.

    God bless.

    NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

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