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Error on a speeding ticket enough for dismissal?

Lamont, CA |

The citing officer didn't misspelled my last name, he wrote a completely different last name on the ticket can it be dismiss? will the DMV still be notified?

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Attorney answers 2


I would think the DMV would still become aware of the ticket...assuming the other information was filled out properly...your driver's license # (or SSI#), your DOB, your address, your plate #, etc. I'm sure this is not the first time a police officer has ever written info down on a ticket that was incorrect or illegible....

You could maybe make the jokey argument for dismissal (to the prosecutor)......"This officer can't properly write up a ticket...what chance does he have with a radar gun?"


Rarely do you hear that a judge is willing to dismiss a ticket for such an error as a mispelled name. And your appearance may be enough for the court to find that you had sufficient notice that you were in fact the one cited. But there have been crazier reasons for a dismissal!

I would suggest that if you were to decide to contest the ticket, you first approach the prosecutor and seek a dismissal based on the error. If that does not work, plea to the judge that you disagree with every part of the traffic stop, citing that the officer was mistaken (assuming that you believe this to be true). If he spelled your name wrong, perhaps he pulled over the wrong vehicle.
If you are more concerned about the DMV polnts or insurance rates, consider whether your jurisdiction has a "no points speeding" type of option to plea. If the DMV only used names to search your record, then you could be ok, however, realistically, if the driver's license number and the plate number on the offense matches the real you, the DMV will know.

Disclaimer - I am a practicing attorney in Ohio. The law varies state to state. This is being offered as general legal education. There is no explicit or implicit offer to provide legal representation.