Sioux City, IA asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota

Q: My wife got a speed citation. Many details are incorrect including the date, time, plate number, make, color. What to do

My wife received a speeding citation for 72 in a 55 in Hennepin Cty, MN. She believes she was speeding, but like 65 not 72. (72 in a 55 would be out of character for her). The officer gave her the citation and the Date is off by 2 days, time is off by 5 hours (plus the 2 days of course) Vehicle Make totally incorrect, as well as the vehicle plate number, vehicle color. This seems to present gross incompetence in the issuing officer and would constitute a lack of faith in the accuracy of the citing officer which I am sure would be offensive to the officer. What is the best strategy? She is a 50YO and has never received any citations.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: Typically, if the driver or her lawyer alert the prosecutor to inadvertent errors on the citation by the officer, they will then amend to fix those errors. This removes potential benefits to the driver. A better approach may be to never mention those errors until in the midst of a trial, when it too late for them. The relevance could be potential misidentification by the police officer of which vehicle was speeding, vs. a different vehicle being stopped. That would be one of dozens or more possible defenses to speeding. It is important to analyze the facts for potential defenses at trial. But most cases with favorable outcomes are the result of an agreement with the prosecutor. A person with a clean traffic record for the past 3 to 5 years, with an alleged speed moderately over the alleged limit, often can get a deal to keep it off their DL record, if the pay and stay free of more violations for a year. More on that on my website. The two most common ways to keep it off the DL record in Minnesota are (1) Continuance Without a Plea, with conditions; and (2) a "Dimler speed" 65 or less in a 55 or 60 zone. But if driver does not have a Minnesota DL, the "Dimler speed" may not work.

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