What is it called when a police officer says you did one thing but cites you for a different violation?

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What is it called when a police officer says you did one thing but cites you for a different violation?

Police officer wrongfully accused me of running a red light. I investigated his route he was traveling and because he was driving down hill, his view of the left hand turn light was impeded by another stop light. He was very short tempered despite me being very respectful. At the end of the stop he handed me the citation and said he wrote me up for failure to signal a turn instead of disobeying a traffic control device. This was at 2:45 am.

Asked on February 1, 2012 under General Practice, Oregon

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Officers can sometimes charge you with a different violation if the cost is less than the original violation. However, this is if you also violated the law by actually failing to turn; the police cannot simply make stuff up. So, aside from your investigation, if you signaled and you knew you did not run a red light, then challenge the ticket in court. You do have the right to do so. However, if the ticket amount for failing to signal is less than (most likely) running a red light, then you should consider that when challenging the ticket itself.


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