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When you receive your indictment papers and the date of the offense that occured is wrong, can it be thrown out on that technica

Dallas, TX |

I received my indictment papers and it has the wrong date for which I supposedly committed the offense. The date entered on the indictment paperwork is a date 6 months prior to my actual arrest date and is also my birthday date. The date of the police report and the date on my bond papers match, but the indictment has a date prior to the actual arrest date. Doesn't the indictment have to be the one that has to be exactly correct and if it isn't, couldn't that be reason for a technical dismissal?

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Attorney answers 3


You'd think but no. You could set the case for trial (giving up any and all chances to plea bargain for something other than a conviction), then hope the DA doesn't notice the error prior to trial. (The DA can amend the indictment any time up to the start of trial--so if you point it out, they'll just fix it.) Even if you make it that far, it's not the kind of fundamental error that requires a reversal.

If you have been indicted on a felony, you need to be discussing this case with your attorney. If you don't have one yet, start interviewing people as soon as possible. Most of us offer free consultations.

Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.


Does the date matter? Short answer? Not usually. Why? Because of the "on or about" language that comes before the date in almost every indictment. When you see"on or about" such and such a date, all the prosecutor has to prove is that the offense happened before the indictment was done by the grand jury and not so long ago that the time limit to bring the case (meaning the "statute of limitations") has passed.

My suggestion is that you have a competent criminal defense lawyer review your indictment to see if it contains the "on or about" language and to see if it has any other errors that might be used to help your defense.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.


A superseding indictment could correct the error if the prosecutor smells a technicality defense. I agree with my compatriot that the on or about language provides some protection from this mistake. So, a small amendment to the indictment would hold no prejudice to the defendant. Take Care!

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