Can I get a underage drinking citation dropped because the police officer put the wrong ID Number on the citation?

UPDATED: Apr 22, 2009

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Can I get a underage drinking citation dropped because the police officer put the wrong ID Number on the citation?

I was walking down the street and I got pulled over by the police. They gave me a breathalizer, and found I was drinking. When the gave me the citation for underage drinking, they put the wrong State ID number on the citation. Can I get the citation dropped because the officer put down the wrong information?

Asked on April 22, 2009 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


Robert Pellinen / Law Offices of Robert Pellinen

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Just because they made a mistake in putting the wrong ID number on the citation, this should not affect the citation. This is considered a clerrical error that does not go to the substance of charges against you. The officer had no reason for pulling you over and giving you a breathalizer test, but that is a Fourth Amendment search and seizure issue.

But most importantly, were you cited for having alcohol in your possession or were you cited for having alcohol  in you system?  If you were charged with having alcohol in your system this is not a crime, for there are many ways you can register an alcohol content without drinking the normal booze. Were you charged with being "drunk in public."? At any rate this is a very minor offense and the district attorney may not even charge you. If you were also charged with being drunk in public, this offense is very difficult to prove. Usually the district attorney has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you were "unable to care for yourself or were a danger to others" as a result of intoxication. Also, if you were given a citation to appear and not taken into custody to "sober up" this is an indication that you weren't drunk in public.  Being drunk in public is not the same as driving drunk, which is another issue.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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