Does an incorrect date invalidate a ticket?

Received a ‘no seat belt’ ticket on 5/23/16 at approx. 217 PM. Ticket states
infraction occurred on 7/18/16 at approx. 444 AM. Officer also stated it was a
seat belt enforcement zone, but there is no signage anywhere stating such. Does a
grossly inaccurate date invalidate the ticket?

Asked on May 30, 2016 under General Practice, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The grossly inaccurate date does not automatically invalidate the ticket, but a court could dismiss on the basis that with an incorrect date and time, that either officer's testimony is not credible (i.e. he doesn't know what he's talking about) or that the inaccuracies denied you due process by not putting you accurately on notice of the factual situation you must defend against. It will depend on whether the judge thinks that on the one hand (favoring dismissal), either the officer just basically "made stuff up" and/or there is a genuine and credible issue about the facts...or (favoring not dismissing) that both you and the officer know what he was talking about and this was just essentially a harmless typo.
It's also possible that if you talk to the prosecutor before trial (which you always should do--show up early), the prosecutor will look at this and opt to dismiss (not bring the case) because it would be embarrasing or more trouble than it's worth.
Definitely show up early and talk to the prosecutor--he very well may elect to dismiss. If not, if he offers you a favorable plea or deal, you could opt to take it...if not, then as a back-up, you could raise these issues to the judge and see if the judge will dismiss.

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