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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33547
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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I have a question regarding California criminal law. If an

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I have a question regarding California criminal law. If an individual, an adult male, receives a Jaywalking citation, VC 21955 – crossing the street between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal – but he actually violated VC 21462 – walking through a crosswalk against a red traffic light – will the citation be valid, allowing the officer’s mistake?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am JudgeLaw and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide excellent service.

A citation must give notice of the defendant of the charge against him or her. Therefore, unless the citation is amended then the ticket should be dismissed.

The problem is that the citation can be amended at any time before the prosecution closes its case. So, you need to hope the prosecution does not notice the error before they put on their evidence. They you bring it to the court's attention and request the ticket be dismissed since the proof offered would not be consistent with the violation.

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Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


If the offender pleads not guilty, at what part of the trial, I suppose it would be by judge not jury, would be the point say “of no return” for the prosecution to amend the citation? For instance, if the offender plead not guilty, and he has his hearing before the judge and asks for a dismissal by bringing to his/her attention the error, when does the prosecution lose the opportunity to amend the charge?

The prosecution can no longer amend the citation once it closes its case, after the officer testifies.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please forgive my courtroom ignorance. Then I assume the prosecution presents their case first and thereafter the defense? Would this be the time, after the defense presents it case, that the defendant would ask for a dismissal due to the mistake? Is there any other way to get it dismissed through proper channels other than having to go through a court trial?

No apology is necessary. I realize how confusing this can be.

You make a motion for a directed finding after the prosecution closes its case and the defense (you) are asked to present you case (your defense). Before presenting any testimony or defense evidence, you would ask the court for a directed finding on the basis that the evidence presented by the prosecution failed to prove the violation cited in the ticket.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I believe this should be the last question on this topic. I assume the motion is presented in writing on a formalized court document, one which I should easily be able to obtain over the Internet?

You do not need to present it in writing. Nor would you want to because you do not want to give notice to the prosecution of the error. Just state it when the judge asks you to present your case after the prosecution rests.
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