Interesting story in the DMN today about a curious Dallas police practice uncovered by the city attorney’s office: An assistant city attorney documented about 12 cases over an 18-month period where an officer handed a driver a handwritten citation for an infraction, only to "change" the infraction (add another one, change the original, etc.) sometime after letting the driver leave. For example, the story cites one motorist cited for a $220 fine (immediately paid) and then weeks later, the motorist finds out she supposedly owes another $378 for a charge that allegedly wasn’t on her original citation. The News correctly points out that of the 400,000 or so tickets written by police each year, 12-18 allegations of wrongdoing isn’t exactly an epidemic of wrongdoing. Nor does it even make much sense as to why an officer would change a ticket after-the-fact; there’s really not a whole lot to be gained relative to the risk of suspension, fine or termination of the officer’s job. Police also correctly point out that some of the problems could be caused by simple, explainable accidents. But it’s still a curious issue that’s worth noting and keeping an eye out for if you or I happen to wind up holding a ticket someday.
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