Paperwork Error by CHP Officer Almost triggers Bench Warrant

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This morning at my clients DMV hearing, I had the opportunity to speak with the CHP officer who had arrested my client for DUI. While we were waiting in the lobby at the DMV Driver’s Safety Office I was trying to get a feel of the officers experience on the field since you looked fairly young and discovered that the officer had made a mistake that almost caused my client to receive a bench warrant. I had made a comment to the officer about the fact that nothing was filed against my client when I appeared at Malibu court for him. He then stated that “Oh thats because I accidentally wrote the wrong court down on the citation. I thought it was an LA County case”

Apparently, the officer was confused about which court would handle my clients case/which District Attorney’s Office to send the arrest report to. This alarmed me because my clients court date was a weeks ago and was worried my client would have an outstanding warrant for failure to appear at his arraignment. I then asked the officer where he sent the report, it was not until then that I learned my clients case would be handled in Ventura County. I immediately called Ventura District Attorney’s Office and learned that my client has court next week.

While I had the clerks office at Malibu Court provide me with a “Proof of Appearance,” and was following with Malibu District Attorney on  a weekly basis (of course nothing was ever filed), my client would have had a bench warrant in the meanwhile until we discovered that a case was filed in Ventura County. Luckily for my client the new court date has not passed yet and will not receive a bench for failure to appear.

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