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Cited for expired registration for car I don't own and was not in

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  • Cited for expired registration for car I don't own and was not in

    I received a citation in the mail for an expired vehicle registration. The top of the citation has my name, address, birth date, and driver's license number. The vehicle information gives the name and address of the vehicle's owner which is not me. It lists the vehicle make (Dodge) and its registration number. I do not own a Dodge and have not borrowed anyone's vehicle. I have 3 cars - mine, my wife's, and my son's. I would not have had the need to borrow someone else's vehicle. I don't understand how the trooper would have gotten my personal information when citing someone else for their expired registration.

    I have called the State Police barracks several times. The trooper is never available to speak with me. I'm asked why I want to speak to him. I have a feeling he doesn't return my calls because he figures he doesn't have to discuss it until we go to court if I plead not guilty. In order to plead not guilty, I have to send a check to the magistrate for $160.00 which will be held until there is a hearing. In order to attend the hearing, I have to take off of work.

    As I said, I've tried to contact the trooper to inform him of the mistake to no avail. I am salaried so I don't punch a time clock. Due to COVID-19, I work from home which happens to be a few blocks from where the officer states he cited me. I have a standing conference call every Wednesday at 10:30 am which I am the organizer. The citation gives the time of the call as 10:38 am on a Wednesday.

    I have no way of proving I was working and not in a car I don't own on the date and time the trooper issued the citation. I know this sounds crazy, but it's 100% true. I assume the trooper would have asked the person he pulled over for his driver's license, insurance, and registration. When he ran the info, it would have found the registration had expired and thus issued the citation in that person's name or maybe to the owner of the vehicle if the driver had borrowed the car. I don't understand how he would have gotten my information!

    I did have a teenager enter my son's vehicle in my driveway in the very early morning hours one day recently. My security camera caught the person on video. I called the PA State Police to make a report and gave my personal information to the same trooper who cited me for an expired vehicle registration. That's the only way and only time he could have gotten my info that I can think of. The person who the citation shows owns the car has practically the same name as mine. Our first names differ by one vowel. Our last names begin with the same letter and are 4 characters long. But our addresses are different.

    I'm at a loss how to handle the situation. I can't afford to send $160.00 to the magistrate in order to plead not guilty and also lose time from work. My tiny town doesn't have a police force and relies on state police for problems. That's why a trooper investigated the break in of my son's car. The citation lists a state road as the location so the trooper could just have been passing through the area and pulled the vehicle over for whatever reason and discovered the registration had expired.

    What can I do???? If only the trooper would return my calls this might be straightened out before going to court.

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    Originally posted by GrandmaDee View Post
    I received a citation in the mail for an expired vehicle registration. The top of the citation has my name, address, birth date, and driver's license number. The vehicle information gives the name and address of the vehicle's owner which is not me. It lists the vehicle make (Dodge) and its registration number. I do not own a Dodge and have not borrowed anyone's vehicle. I have 3 cars - mine, my wife's, and my son's. I would not have had the need to borrow someone else's vehicle. I don't understand how the trooper would have gotten my personal information when citing someone else for their expired registration.

    I have called the State Police barracks several times. The trooper is never available to speak with me. I'm asked why I want to speak to him. I have a feeling he doesn't return my calls because he figures he doesn't have to discuss it until we go to court if I plead not guilty. In order to plead not guilty, I have to send a check to the magistrate for $160.00 which will be held until there is a hearing. In order to attend the hearing, I have to take off of work.

    As I said, I've tried to contact the trooper to inform him of the mistake to no avail. I am salaried so I don't punch a time clock. Due to COVID-19, I work from home which happens to be a few blocks from where the officer states he cited me. I have a standing conference call every Wednesday at 10:30 am which I am the organizer. The citation gives the time of the call as 10:38 am on a Wednesday.

    I have no way of proving I was working and not in a car I don't own on the date and time the trooper issued the citation. I know this sounds crazy, but it's 100% true. I assume the trooper would have asked the person he pulled over for his driver's license, insurance, and registration. When he ran the info, it would have found the registration had expired and thus issued the citation in that person's name or maybe to the owner of the vehicle if the driver had borrowed the car. I don't understand how he would have gotten my information!

    I did have a teenager enter my son's vehicle in my driveway in the very early morning hours one day recently. My security camera caught the person on video. I called the PA State Police to make a report and gave my personal information to the same trooper who cited me for an expired vehicle registration. That's the only way and only time he could have gotten my info that I can think of. The person who the citation shows owns the car has practically the same name as mine. Our first names differ by one vowel. Our last names begin with the same letter and are 4 characters long. But our addresses are different.

    I'm at a loss how to handle the situation. I can't afford to send $160.00 to the magistrate in order to plead not guilty and also lose time from work. My tiny town doesn't have a police force and relies on state police for problems. That's why a trooper investigated the break in of my son's car. The citation lists a state road as the location so the trooper could just have been passing through the area and pulled the vehicle over for whatever reason and discovered the registration had expired.

    What can I do???? If only the trooper would return my calls this might be straightened out before going to court.

    Thanks for any help.
    Have you contacted the court/magistrate's office directly and explained your situation? They may be able to waive or reduce the surety amount if you cannot afford it. They may also have advice on how to get this resolved without having to appear in court. Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Yep, I'd go personally to the court to see if they will dismiss it before the court date if possible.

      The other thing, here in Texas and other states, expired vehicle registration enforcement has been put on hiatus due to Covid 19. I'd look into that also to see if they can even give a citation for that offense right now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Within 10 days, you must respond in writing to the appropriate Magisterial District Judge. (See box #1 on the front of the citation for the Magisterial District Court number and box #2 for the Magisterial District Court address). To respond, you must plead NOT GUILTY or GUILTY. If you plead GUILTY, you must sign the bottom portion of the citation indicating a guilty plea and pay the total amount due as indicated on the citation. If you cannot afford to pay the entire amount due, you must go in person to the appropriate Magisterial District Court and request a payment plan. If the total amount due is not indicated on the citation, then you must appear before the appropriate Magisterial District Judge to obtain your sentence. If you plead NOT GUILTY, you must sign the bottom portion of the citation indicating a not guilty plea and pay the required collateral. Generally, the collateral equals the total amount due PLUS court costs. If you cannot afford the total collateral required, you must contact the appropriate Magisterial District Court. If the total amount due is not indicated on the citation, then $50 collateral should be forwarded to the appropriate Magisterial District Court.
        I don't answer recruitment messages....

        Comment


        • #5
          After receiving your not guilty plea, and collateral, the Magisterial District Court will schedule a hearing and notify you by mail.

          If you are found NOT GUILTY, the collateral you posted will be refunded to you. If you are found GUILTY, the collateral will be applied to the total amount due.
          I don't answer recruitment messages....

          Comment


          • #6
            The trooper has no reason to talk to you. Bring your evidence to whatever MDJ your case will be assigned to and question (or have an attorney) question the trooper under oath. I believe PSP cars have dash cams, so you can subpoena that information.


            Last edited by orlandofed5-0; 01-27-2021, 06:08 AM.
            I don't answer recruitment messages....

            Comment


            • #7
              Yep, a trooper's dashcam video is what kept my officer buddy from having to travel 100s of miles to answer for a traffic citation given to another person with a similar name. The trooper did poor police work in using my buddy's personal information to populate a citation from information he received from his MDT. I told a trooper sergeant buddy of mine about my buddy's dilemma who contacted the trooper 'asking' him to check his video of the stop. The video confirmed it wasn't my buddy who had never been in that part of Texas in his life. That trooper then contacted the court to have the citation dismissed. I have no idea if the trooper sergeant would have done that or not for a regular Joe Citizen or not.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you, everyone. I appreciate your help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What can I do????
                  Go to court. That’s what court is for.
                  "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                  "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First thing first: we’re they your pants?
                    Its important.

                    Comment

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