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  #1  
Old 03-05-2001, 08:42 AM
jdl jdl is offline
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A guy at work got a ticket for stopping in a no stopping zone. The cop [b]miswrote the licence plate by one letter[b], although the make of the car was correct. The guy never gave his name or licence or registration.

Is there any way they can track him down now? Would they? Is he off the hook?
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2001, 08:54 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by jdl
[B]A guy at work got a ticket for stopping in a no stopping zone. The cop [b]miswrote the licence plate by one letter, although the make of the car was correct. The guy never gave his name or licence or registration.

Is there any way they can track him down now? Would they? Is he off the hook?
Where did this happen? Was this in New York City?

If you get a parking ticket in NYC and the license plate number is wrong, then you are off the hook. There is no way they can trace it back to you.

Even if they did (say he gave his name/registration) the ticket would still be subject to an automatic dismissal. There are a number of technical errors on a ticket that will result in an automatic dismissal.

Zev Steinhardt
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2001, 09:02 AM
Man from Mars Man from Mars is offline
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>>If you get a parking ticket in NYC and the license plate number is wrong, then you are off the hook. <<

I would assume that if they have the make of the car and every number/letter correct minus one, then it won't be too difficult to track down the vehicle. I read about this very situation once in the Gridlock Sam section of the Daily News (here in New York City) and Sam said that they can track you down if just one number of the plate is off and they have the make of the car. We are talking about fairly advanced computer technology here.
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Old 03-05-2001, 09:06 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tony
>>If you get a parking ticket in NYC and the license plate number is wrong, then you are off the hook. <<

I would assume that if they have the make of the car and every number/letter correct minus one, then it won't be too difficult to track down the vehicle. I read about this very situation once in the Gridlock Sam section of the Daily News (here in New York City) and Sam said that they can track you down if just one number of the plate is off and they have the make of the car. We are talking about fairly advanced computer technology here.
They may be able to track you down, but even so, if the license plate number is wrong, then the ticket is subject to an automatic dismissal.

(Note: This only applies to NYC parking tickets. A traffic ticket, however, is not subject to dismissal because the cop made an error on the ticket).

Zev Steinhardt
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2001, 09:21 AM
MikeG MikeG is offline
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In Chicago, you'd be off the hook as well. This is a fairly common way for the beat guys to look like they are ticketing a car that they don't want to, i.e. another cops' personal car, FOP sticker, etc.

::missing my FOP medallion from the academy pretty bad right about now ::
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2001, 09:24 AM
AWB AWB is offline
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Could be an Urban Legend

Someone beat a "No Stopping" ticket because the sign was misspelled as "No Stoping", which is a form of mining. He argued that he was not mining and beat the ticket.
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2001, 09:27 AM
muttrox muttrox is offline
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I beat a ticket on a related technical error, because the policeman didn't write down whether I was headed east- or west-bound on the given street. I've had a friend beat many tickets on similar technical errors.
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2001, 09:57 AM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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My friend Chris once got a ticket thrown out because the officer wrote her sex as male on the ticket. She's not especially girly (short hair, no frilly clothes), but she's obviously not a man. I don't know where this happened or what the offense was (I would assume speeding).
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2001, 10:15 AM
Trucido Trucido is offline
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A friend of mine was given a speeding ticket, then appeared in court only to find that the ticketing officer had written the date as 1959 instead of 1999. It was thrown out, and then the judge explained that officers will sometimes fill a ticket out incorrectly on purpose, as fear is probably more effective than a warning. I guess this sort of goes back to what zev_steinhardt said.
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2001, 10:26 AM
handy handy is offline
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You probably won't have to pay but you have to appear cause you signed the ticket, which is an agreement to appear in court.
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2001, 10:46 AM
notguilty notguilty is offline
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A conviction on a sloppy ticket like that is what my attorney calls "Fruit from the Poison Tree" A lawyer can get that ticket thrown out with a phone call or two, if your co-worker tries to fight it himself, the judge might just convict him and laugh about it. Then if you decide to fight it after the fact, you will be filing an appeal. That will cost you much more because the lawyer will be filing an appeal and embarrasing the judge somewhat. He needs to decide if it would be worth paying the attorney to make the phone call, or is his time going down the the courthouse on his court date to roll the dice is worth his time. If it isn't a moving violation and you're not on probation, i'd just pay it, but you definately will win that with a lawyer.
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2001, 10:48 AM
notguilty notguilty is offline
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A conviction on a sloppy ticket like that is what my attorney calls "Fruit from the Poison Tree" A lawyer can get that ticket thrown out with a phone call or two, if your co-worker tries to fight it himself, the judge might just convict him and laugh about it. Then if you decide to fight it after the fact, you will be filing an appeal. That will cost you much more because the lawyer will be filing an appeal and embarrasing the judge, and the cop somewhat. He needs to decide if it would be worth paying the attorney to make the phone call, or is his time worth going down to the courthouse on his court date to see if the judge is nice . If it isn't a moving violation and you're not on probation, i'd just pay it, but you definately will win that with a lawyer.
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2001, 11:56 AM
bizerta bizerta is offline
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With 3 digits and 3 letters, there are probably 15 Blue Plymouth Voyagers with a license plate that ALMOST matches mine. If you add transpositions, too, you're probably adding a few more cars to the list.

You can do what I did. I threw the mistaken parking ticket in the trash and never heard another word.
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2001, 11:56 AM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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From a purely legal view, an inadvertent error on a ticket can be corrected. If you appear at the trial and plea the error, the court can, in its discretion, allow the citation to be amended and a new court date set.

This doesn't mean that it cannot also dismiss the case. In big cities with crowded dockets, the court may dismiss the ticket. BUT it doesn't have to.
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2001, 12:59 PM
Gazoo Gazoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by notguilty
A conviction on a sloppy ticket like that is what my attorney calls "Fruit from the Poison Tree"
If that's what he calls it, he's not using the term correctly.

The "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine" deals with evidence the State has collected illegally (i.e. an unlawful search). Under the doctrine, any evidence that is the direct result or immediate product of illegal conduct on the part of the State is inadmissible in a criminal trial.
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2001, 01:10 PM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by barbitu8
From a purely legal view, an inadvertent error on a ticket can be corrected. If you appear at the trial and plea the error, the court can, in its discretion, allow the citation to be amended and a new court date set.

This doesn't mean that it cannot also dismiss the case. In big cities with crowded dockets, the court may dismiss the ticket. BUT it doesn't have to.
Not in New York City.

There are several errors that will result in an automatic dismissal. These are errors that describe the event (license plate of the car, date, time, location, etc.) If any of this information is missing, it MUST result in a dismissal. This is because the ticket IS the entire case against you. The traffic agent who wrote the ticket does not show up at your hearing. Since the entire case rests upon the ticket, if any vital data is missing, then the state has no case.

A traffic ticket (for going through a red light, for example), however, will not result in an automatic dismissal if some vital info is missing. The reason for this is that the cop who wrote the ticket shows up in court and testifies against you. Therefore, the state's case is based more on the cop's testimony than on the ticket itself.

Zev Steinhardt
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  #17  
Old 03-05-2001, 01:12 PM
notguilty notguilty is offline
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Gazoo, thanks for clarifying that, my error in recall, not my attorney's.
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  #18  
Old 03-05-2001, 01:16 PM
The Ryan The Ryan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by handy

You probably won't have to pay but you have to appear cause you signed the ticket, which is an agreement to appear in court.
On the off chance that you come back to this thread, I would like to point out the fact that the cop did not get the driver's name kinda implies that he (the driver) didn't sign any ticket.
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  #19  
Old 03-05-2001, 06:15 PM
handy handy is offline
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"On the off chance that you come back to this thread, I would like to point out the fact that the cop
did not get the driver's name kinda implies that he (the driver) didn't sign any ticket."

Oh, yeah you are right. I reread the OP. That's pretty strange, don't you think? What cop wouldn't ask for license, registration or insurance? I wonder what'll happen to the person who has that plate number ? :-)
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  #20  
Old 03-05-2001, 07:10 PM
Gazoo Gazoo is offline
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Handy, it's a parking ticket! The cop probably left it under the wiper blade. They don't usually just hang around waiting for the violator to finish their Big Mac, or whatever they're doing.
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  #21  
Old 03-05-2001, 08:27 PM
Ned Ned is offline
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Just ignore it.

You aren't charged with an offense and they can't prove they ticketed your car. Even if they went through the trouble of determining who should probably have gotten the ticket it wouldn't be better than an educated guess.

They would also have to reissue a ticket with the correct number.
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  #22  
Old 03-05-2001, 09:05 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by zev_steinhardt
Quote:
Originally posted by barbitu8
From a purely legal view, an inadvertent error on a ticket can be corrected. If you appear at the trial and plea the error, the court can, in its discretion, allow the citation to be amended and a new court date set.

This doesn't mean that it cannot also dismiss the case. In big cities with crowded dockets, the court may dismiss the ticket. BUT it doesn't have to.
Not in New York City.

There are several errors that will result in an automatic dismissal. These are errors that describe the event (license plate of the car, date, time, location, etc.) If any of this information is missing, it MUST result in a dismissal. This is because the ticket IS the entire case against you. The traffic agent who wrote the ticket does not show up at your hearing. Since the entire case rests upon the ticket, if any vital data is missing, then the state has no case.

A traffic ticket (for going through a red light, for example), however, will not result in an automatic dismissal if some vital info is missing. The reason for this is that the cop who wrote the ticket shows up in court and testifies against you. Therefore, the state's case is based more on the cop's testimony than on the ticket itself.

Zev Steinhardt
Do you have a citation for that? (No pun intended.) Strange that a moving violation citation will not be dismissed automatically if there be an error but a non-moving violation will.

It is a general rule that any complaint can be amended. The citation is a complaint by the city against the driver or the owner of the vehicle (a parking ticket is against the owner). If there is an error, the city can ask the court to allow it to amend the citation, and then issue a new citation. You, of course, can have a new trial date set after the amendment.
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  #23  
Old 03-06-2001, 02:01 AM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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More anecdotal evidence, this from Washington State.

My roommate once got a ticket for failing to dim his headlights. When he looked at the ticket later and was doing a little homework in preparation for his court appearance (he always fought everything), he discovered the cop had written down the wrong statute number. (Here in Washington, it's the Revised Code, or RCW.) Instead of (making up numbers here) RCW 12.040.50, "failing to dim headlights," the cop had written him a ticket naming RCW 12.040.70 as the code being violated. And what did that law cover? It was about regulating the height of additional illumination on tractor-trailer rigs, or something equally irrelevant.

My friend went to court, provided a picture of what he was driving (a K-car, of all things) that showed the license plate so it could be verified against the ticket, and then pointed out the mis-cited statute. Clearly, he said, I don't have a semi, so the law doesn't even apply. The judge, he says, dismissed it immediately, without discussion or hesitation. Just made a note on something, and said, "It's gone, goodbye." The cop, my friend says, didn't look happy about it.
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  #24  
Old 03-06-2001, 08:57 AM
jdl jdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by handy
"On the off chance that you come back to this thread, I would like to point out the fact that the cop
did not get the driver's name kinda implies that he (the driver) didn't sign any ticket."

Oh, yeah you are right. I reread the OP. That's pretty strange, don't you think? What cop wouldn't ask for license, registration or insurance? I wonder what'll happen to the person who has that plate number ? :-)
Just to clear things up regarding the original post, the guy got the ticket while dropping off some folks at their office. He stopped on a busy street while has no stopping rules during rush hour.

He was in the car during the offense and the cop handed him the ticket but NEVER asked for licence or registration - either because it would have taken too long (and the cop was himself stopped in the no stopping zone) or because it is not necessary to get that info for that kind of violation.
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  #25  
Old 03-06-2001, 09:15 AM
handy handy is offline
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" the cop had written down the wrong statute number."

That happened to me once in California for a tailight out. I went to court & the court pointed it out. I had to find the cop at the station & ask him to change it to the right number then go back to the court showing I got my light to work. The whole thing took a long time.
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  #26  
Old 03-06-2001, 09:34 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by barbitu8


Do you have a citation for that? (No pun intended.) Strange that a moving violation citation will not be dismissed automatically if there be an error but a non-moving violation will.

It is a general rule that any complaint can be amended. The citation is a complaint by the city against the driver or the owner of the vehicle (a parking ticket is against the owner). If there is an error, the city can ask the court to allow it to amend the citation, and then issue a new citation. You, of course, can have a new trial date set after the amendment.
I, unfortunately, had to become something of an expert at fighting parking tickets in my (wild) youth. I read it in any number of books written for that purpose. I will, however, try to find a web cite (pun intended!) for you.

Zev Steinhardt
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  #27  
Old 03-06-2001, 10:34 AM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is offline
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I was on the other end of this - MY license tag number was written on someone else's ticket - 6 months later, I get a summons. I had a note from my boss that I was 60 miles away on the day in question, but no proof that my CAR wasn't the one ticketed (even tho Ihad to drive my car...) Anyway, it cost me a half day off work and whatever fine was imposed. I was going to fight it, but it would have cost a fortune, so I bitched about it for a while and got on with life.



Stoopid Baltimore cops...
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