December 27, 2005, 15:53Randal Lee
Traffic complaint question
Is a traffic citation in and of itself sufficient enough to constitute a complaint in accordance with article 45.018, Code of Criminal Procedure, since the citation itself is not sworn to nor does it give notice of the statutory elements of the traffic offense. Any input would be most helpful.
December 27, 2005, 16:56JJ
That would be nice, but I do not think it does. Art. 45.19 lists the requisites for a complaint and many - like "against the peace and dignity of the State"- are missing from the citations I am familiar with.
December 28, 2005, 10:21J Ansolabehere
No, it is not. Really, it functions more as a notice to appear. At least that is what I tell our Troopers. However, the CCP does permit the defendant to plead guilty or nolo without the filing of a formal complaint. If the defendant enters a not guilty plea and requests trial, a formal written complaint must be filed and a copy given to the defendant at least one day prior to trial unless the defendant waives the filing of the formal complaint in writing. (See CCP articles 27.14, 27.16, and 45.018, and 45.019).