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VIC Warrant Issued under Wrong Name - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Mark James, 23 July 2015.

  1. Mark James

    Mark James Member

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    Hi,

    I have a strange situation on my hands. A couple of years ago I was charged under criminal law a relatively minor offence (customs seized an importation of a personal amount of prescription medicine without approval). In March this year, I was personally served a summons for a court mention in May. I met the process server guy at a conference I was attending at the Exhibition Buildings.

    Anyhow, I didn't end up making the court mention date (oops). So, two weeks ago, I called the court and they told me that a warrant has been issued for my arrest in Victoria and I must report to a police station to have a new court date set.

    So I went to a police station in Melbourne and said I was there for a warrant. I gave them my ID and they found my file (I have a prior very minor conviction) - but they said there are definitely no warrants out and that I should contact the informant.

    It was then I thought that the informant must have made some kind of error. I looked through the summons and brief that I received back in March and, sure enough, they have my middle name wrong!

    I didn't notice it before. Looks like they have accidentally issued the summons, (and heard the court mention in my absence) and issued the arrest warrant under the name of someone else (who has my same first name, last name, and DOB, but a different middle name!

    For over a year I have been travelling around, couch surfing, etc. and therefore have no fixed address so it's not like they can come knocking on my door.

    I have never been arrested, photographed, or finger printed in my life.

    So even though I was served the summons in person - considering it and the court date heard, and the warrant issued all to someone else's identity, what would happen if I just make no contact from here?

    Would time be in my favour? Could their error cause this to be thrown out? I was expecting a conviction and perhaps a $3,000 fine for this offense.
     
  2. Amanda E

    Amanda E Well-Known Member

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    How did you go? Did you contact the informant as the police advised you?

    If its a case of mistaken identity and the police have confirmed they know its not you and they won't pursue you, then I don't see how you could be convicted as they would need to prove (beyond reasonable doubt) that you committed the crime and they've identified that you're not the right person. If it was me, I would follow the advice from the police, but also get them to email/send me something in writing confirming what they said to you.
     

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