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What happens when a criminal charge contains incorrect defendant information?

Fort Worth, TX |

Having been charged with a crime and accepted a plea, all of the court documents contain incorrect first name and date of birth. I showed my drivers license at the courthouse but they never changed my name or DOB. Now on probation but under wrong name and dob. If I get accused of another crime can this be used against me (the errors on my current charge)? In my defense, I showed up for court, got fingerprinted (showed DL to the bailer doing fingerprints but still wrong information on my paperwork) Unsupervised probation was my plea agreement.

Attorney Answers 3


It probably can't be used against you but the documents should be corrected. If for example someone else were to come through the system with the name and DOB information that is on your records you could find yourself saddled with someone elses criminal record. Though you are on unsupervised probation there is still an agent assigned to the case. Try to schedule an appointment with him or her and see if they can provide you with some assistance in correcting this. Otherwise, you should hire a lawyer and petition the court to correct what is a "scrivner error"; that's just fancy jargon for correcting documents from what is basically typographical errors so that the document properly and correctly conforms to what actually took place. Specifically, that you with your DOB were the one sentenced and not someone else.

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My collegue is correct. You need to get this corrected before it is discovered and it looks like you either have an alias, or were trying to avoid having this record attached to your real name and identifiers. If you feel like you are not able to do this on your own because of concerns that they will not believe you, contact a local attorney who handles criminal cases and discuss this with him. Good luck.

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. Given the nature of this website, it is provided solely for informational purposes, for you to use as a starting point when speaking directly with a lawyer in your State. Do not assume that the legal theories I mention that pertain to NJ will apply in your State. I urge you to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State before making any decisions about this case.

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If the fingerprints match, it can be used against you IF it eventually results in a revocation (meaning you do ot serve out the probation but it is revoked for some reason.). It is not unusual to find many mistakes in cases because of officer error, data input error, etc. (Some times it can be used to dismiss a traffic ticket, but not a criminal case.)

You pled guilty and did not challenge your guilt. In the past, before the electronic fingerprint system (AFIS), many people lied about everything about them. What counted, though, was that the fingerprints demonstrate that the person is the same.

The facts of the mistakes will not help you avoid useage of the case, but a sucessfully served out probation will. (And, if you got deferred adjudication probation and you serve it out successfully, after the statute of limitations has run, you can file a petition of non-disclosure which is also know as a petition to seal your record and keep it from the probing eyes of employers and others - but not law enforcement.)

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