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Lost In Translation

The same kind of technical glitch that kept a bus driver on the road when his license should have been suspended is sometimes a defense in Lamont and Shafter courts.

Mario Vasquez was caught driving on a suspended commercial drivers’ license in Oregon, pleaded no contest, and paid a $260 fine. According to California law, the DMV could have suspended his license for another four months. But officials in the Beaver State apparently didn’t code the infraction as one that involved a commercial vehicle, so the agency took no further action against Mr. Vasquez. So, his license should have been suspended when he allegedly caused a serious bus crash.

Mr. Vasquez also apparently got a speeding ticket in Washington which was never reported to the California DMV.

Typos on the Ticket

Coding mistakes and other mechanical errors like this are very rare, but they do happen. In terms of traffic ticket trials, there are basically harmless errors and fatal errors.

Nearly all mistakes are harmless errors, so it is basically a myth that any typographical error or other mistake on the ticket will cause the judge to throw it out. If the officer spelled my name as “Marc” instead of “Mark” or “Biger” instead of “Bigger,” these are harmless errors.

But assume the officer recorded my name as “Paul Harman” instead of “Mark Bigger.” When the case goes to trial, there will be a variance between the pleadings (Paul Harman was speeding) and the proof (Mark Bigger was speeding). Or, if the officer erroneously records the location of the stop as the location of the infraction, the same result occurs. In cases like these, the judge may throw out the ticket based on a fatal variance.

If there is a fatal variance, prosecutors often make better deals because they do not want to go to the trouble of re-filing the case with the correct information or begging the judge for permission to amend the pleadings.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.