Q: After a motion to dismiss is denied & an order is entered specifying facts on the wrong date of an offense can I object?
The finding of facts is dated incorrectly for the offense's commission. What can I do as defendant?
Provided that the wrong date listed is a clerical error, you (or your attorney) can certainly bring the error to the Court's attention and ask that they correct it. You can do so by filing a motion to correct the clerical error; in doing so, be sure to identify the page numbers and paragraph(s) where the date is listed incorrectly, and ask the Court to issue a new order reflecting the correct information. If, on the other hand, the date cited by the judge was not the result of a clerical error—for example, the judge was referring to a wrong date that's listed throughout the record, and the date is so wrong such that you could not have possibly committed the alleged offense(s)—that is a whole different story. Your attorney should be able to assist you either way.
Just as a general matter, clerical errors like these happen quite frequently, but they rarely engender grounds for relief from that order or judgment—no matter how grave or material the error is. You would think that asserting the wrong date as a "fact" would have greater implications—particularly in a context where someone's liberty depends on the outcome of the Court's findings of "facts." The unfortunate reality, however, is that dates are not essential element of an offense that must be proven. Perhaps you have seen phrasing such as "Offense Date (on or about): Jan. 11, 2023." I actually had one case where the Offense Date was (on or about): 08/01/2019-10/01/2020." It can make the process feel even more frustrating and hopeless.
But, don't lose hope just because some attorney who knows nothing about your case may tell you that the judge citing the wrong date in their finding of facts is a meaningless clerical error. This particular error may not affect the outcome of this particular order, but errors anywhere in the record do serve a purpose. So be sure to take note of any other errors or misstatements you might spot —clerical or not—and bring them to the attention of your attorney. The end goal is reasonable doubt, and any such errors or inconsistencies that you might find may very well cater to that purpose in the end.
Best of luck to you.
Susanne Eltamimi agrees with this answer
A: In general, a typo or inadvertent error won't matter for the ultimate issue of outcome. But sometimes, the defense can find a way to benefit from them. Therefore, it's not always a good idea to draw attention to such errors, which can easily be fixed (unless that is more important to the defendant). Discuss the issue with your attorney, who likely is aware of the above; and has access to all available information about your case.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.