Can I get a underage drinking citation dropped because the police officer put the wrong ID Number on the citation?

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Can I get a underage drinking citation dropped because the police officer put the wrong ID Number on the citation?

I was walking down the street and I got pulled over by the police. They gave me a breathalizer, and found I was drinking. When the gave me the citation for underage drinking, they put the wrong State ID number on the citation. Can I get the citation dropped because the officer put down the wrong information?

Asked on April 22, 2009 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Robert Pellinen / Law Offices of Robert Pellinen

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Just because they made a mistake in putting the wrong ID number on the citation, this should not affect the citation. This is considered a clerrical error that does not go to the substance of charges against you. The officer had no reason for pulling you over and giving you a breathalizer test, but that is a Fourth Amendment search and seizure issue.

But most importantly, were you cited for having alcohol in your possession or were you cited for having alcohol  in you system?  If you were charged with having alcohol in your system this is not a crime, for there are many ways you can register an alcohol content without drinking the normal booze. Were you charged with being "drunk in public."? At any rate this is a very minor offense and the district attorney may not even charge you. If you were also charged with being drunk in public, this offense is very difficult to prove. Usually the district attorney has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you were "unable to care for yourself or were a danger to others" as a result of intoxication. Also, if you were given a citation to appear and not taken into custody to "sober up" this is an indication that you weren't drunk in public.  Being drunk in public is not the same as driving drunk, which is another issue.

I hope this information is helpful to you.


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