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Does a summons indicated for traffic court but actually for criminal court still count?

Lancaster, VA |

Issued a summons for a class 3 criminal offense, but on the summons the 'Traffic' court section was selected - rather then the criminal selection. Is this summons still valid? Only after signature was the error discovered. The times and dates for court are correct for Criminal Court though.

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Attorney answers 2


Many jurisdictions in Virginia conduct criminal court and traffic court in the same courtroom at the same time, so this may not be a mistake at all. if it is a mistake, I doubt that this sort of mistake would result in the dismissal of your case. The summons is intended to give you notice of the allegation against you and it seems clear that you understand the allegation.

You don't say what the Class 3 misdemeanor offense is, but as with all criminal charges, I recommend you retain an experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer to handle the case so that you put yourself in the best position for success.

This answer is provided as general information, is not intended to be relied upon, and does not create an attorney – client relationship. For more detailed information specific to your particular situation consult with an attorney experienced in the field of Virginia DUI & Criminal Defense.

T. Kevin Wilson, Esq.
The Wilson Law Firm
DUI & Criminal Defense…When Results Matter
9300 Grant Avenue
Suite 301
Manassas, Virginia 20110

Telephone 703-361-6100
Telephone 888-DUI-LWYR
Facsimile 703-365-7988


Member, National College of DUI Defense
Member, Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

For a FREE copy of the Virginia DUI / DWI Arrest Survival Guide: The Guilt Myth, a consumer guide written by a nationally recognized Virginia DUI Defense Lawyer, visit


Your type of question is quite common and is the subject of much confusion amongst folks facing these types of charges.

Unfortunately for you, the Summons is very likely valid and a Court would likely not dismiss the case based solely on the box checked by the charging law enforcement officer.

Of course, this may not be the only error the officer made in your case and you should have an attorney with experience in this area review all of the facts of your situation and represent you in Court.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

James R. Parrish, Esquire
Parrish Law Firm, PLLC
10620-C Crestwood Drive
Manassas, Virginia 20109
(571) 229-1800 x203 Office
(703) 906-4229 Cell
(571) 229-1818 Fax
(703) 991-7096 eFax

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