What if the information, such as location of the incident, in your indictment papers are incorrect?

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What if the information, such as location of the incident, in your indictment papers are incorrect?

Asked on February 13, 2016 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the indictment is incorrect, then you need to let your attorney know of the error.  Some errors in an indictment are considered 'fundamental' and some are not.  For example, if the alleged address is material to the issue of venue and the state fails to prove venue (location of the crime), then you would be found not guilty... so you may not want to tip the state off that there is an error.  An example of a non-fundamental defect would be in spelling, like the victim's name being spelled 'Jon' versus 'John'.  The names sound the same and anyone  would still be on notice of who the victim was under either spelling... so it's not a big issue when it comes to the state's burden of proof. 
Defects in indictments are tricky... so you really need an attorney to go through any issues with you.  Some defects require you to complain about them ahead of time... while others you lay and wait for the state to screw up.  If you cannot afford an attorney, make sure that you request a court appointed attorney. 


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