If my son received a traffic ticket for improper lane change but the officer issuing the ticket did not witness the alleged violation, is the summons valid?

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If my son received a traffic ticket for improper lane change but the officer issuing the ticket did not witness the alleged violation, is the summons valid?

The alleged violation was observed by the police chief who called a patrol officer to the scene who did not witness the violation. The chief had the officer issue a summons for improper lane change. How valid is this summons?

Asked on July 2, 2015 under General Practice, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It's valid since it was based on personal observation by a police officer (in this case, the chief): the law does not require that the summons be signed by the officer who witnessed it, just that there are provable facts, based on personal observation, which support the summons. Assuming that the chief is available to show up for court, as long as he is called to testify, since he can testify from personal knowledge, the citation will stand.


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