Written by Gregory Monte.
“If there’s anything wrong on your ticket–your middle name, the time of day, the color of your car–pointing that out could get you out of your ticket, your fine, and your points.”
“Small mistakes leading to dismissal of the charges is simply another traffic court myth.”
The defective ticket defense – truth or myth?
As you can tell by the title of this blog post, I come down on the side of myth. My conclusion is based on a recent Pennsylvania Superior Court Case, Commonwealth v. Bowers (2015), but this applies to most other states also.
There were numerous “defects” in Mr. Bower’s citation, but the judge determined that they were not enough to amount to much of anything. Bowers was stopped for a speeding violation. According to the testimony, the police officer who issued the ticket gave him a break. Instead of issuing a citation under Title 75, Section 3362 (speeding), he wrote it out under Title 75, Section 3111 (failure to obey a traffic-control device). As a result, all of the speeding information was missing.
Take a glace at all of the “defects” in the ticket:
“During cross-examination, Trooper Duddy acknowledged that a box on the citation for ‘speed detection type’ and ‘equipment used’ and the device’s serial number was left blank. He also admitted that in the form’s box denoting the nature of offense, where he set forth that the offense was for failing to obey a traffic control device, he did not specify what the device was, nor did he write within the citation what traffic device was not followed.”
So much missing, and yet it didn’t matter.
I have written a couple of blog posts about how most traffic ticket websites are worthless, because they don’t really provide useful information to beat traffic tickets:
Wouldn’t you guess that when I used Google to find information about defective traffic tickets, the top website in the results was the most worthless?
Another Worthless Traffic Ticket Website
Here are the points made on that website:
One of the most common ways in which people defend themselves is by proving the ticket is defective. Once proved defective, the charges against you will be dismissed. Here are a few things you should look for:
- Check if the registration expiration date is properly listed in the ticket. Check if the day, month, and year are listed correctly.
- The next set of facts to be checked is the state of registration, plate number, vehicle make, plate type, and body.
- Check if along with the date and time “AM/PM” is specified correctly.
- Scrutinize the ticket, see if the box allotted for location of the incident “Opposite of/front of” is checked since only the meter number and address have to be mentioned without checking the location box for a parking violation.
- Check to see if the category of violation is listed properly, and with adequate information for your awareness.
- In case the officer has confirmed your case, read if your name along with address is listed above the ticket properly.
Not a Worthless Website
My Pennsylvania Stop Sign Ticket Defense is all about finding technicalities in the law which will “force” a judge to find you not guilty. You can read my 23-page eBook How My Son Beat an Unfair Stop Sign Ticket in Pennsylvania where I describe how my son used just such a technicality to win his case.
Just keep in mind that defects in your citation are often not the kind of technicality that will help you win in court.