Wrong Date on Citation

The client was a Penn State student that was charged in State College with Underage Drinking under 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308. On the summary citation, the police officer noted the wrong date for the alleged incident. The officer’s citation provided the correct month and day but was incorrect on the year. At the hearing, Penn State criminal defense attorney waiting for the summary trial to start, and then he asked for a dismissal of the charge based upon the error on the citation. Pennsylvania law does permit an officer to request permission to amend or fix errors in a citation. More specifically, Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 109 states that a citation shall not be dismissed because of a defect in the form of content of a citation “unless the defendant raises the defect before the conclusion of the trial in a summary case….and the defect is prejudicial to the rights of the defendant.”

The officer argued against dismissal by stating that the incorrect year was clearly a mistake and that the defense basically knew what he intended. The officer’s basic argument was that the defense was not prejudiced by the error. Attorney Dunkle argued that the incorrect year was prejudicial or detrimental to the defense because it prevented the defense from presenting an alibi. Since the officer was changing the date of the alleged incident, the defense could not present any alibi witnesses. The Centre County judge agreed with the State College Underage Drinking attorney and dismissed the summary citation. The experienced Penn State expungement lawyer then filed an expungement petition with a higher level court in Bellefonte to have the charge expunged from the client’s criminal records.