Q If an officer does not turn in a traffic citation by 5 P.M. the next business day, in accordance with Section 63-9-21, must the court dismiss the ticket and charge the officer with a violation of Section 63-9-21-(7)?

A No, Section 63-9-21(6) states, “the failure to timely file the traffic ticket shall not be grounds for dismissal of the traffic ticket and shall not prevent the person’s release from incarceration.” Therefore, the failure to file the ticket by 5 P.M. is not grounds for dismissal. Section 63-9-21(7) does not require any particular individual to file the charge against the officer for failure to turn in the citation. The charge may be filed by any interested party. The officer issuing the ticket is a sworn law enforcement officer, so the provisions of Section 99-3-28 apply and require a probable cause hearing before a circuit court judge, prior to charging the officer with the misdemeanor called for under Section 63-9-21(7). (Attorney General’s Opinion to Spears, June 17, 2016)