Grammar, Spelling, and Typographical Errors
The indictment will not be defective merely because the wrong
tense of a
verb is used or because of similar discrepancies in language. The
test of an
indictment remains whether it states the elements of the offense
intended to be
charged with sufficient particularity to enable the defendant to
defense and to plead the judgment as a bar to any subsequent
prosecution for the
same offense. See United States v. Logwood, 360 F.2d
905 (7th Cir.
"A typographical error in an indictment does not render the
invalid if the essential elements of a crime are contained
States v. Upton, 856 F. Supp. 727, 739 n. 8 (E.D.N.Y. 1994),
sub nom., United States v. Dragone, 78 F.3d
65 (2d Cir.
1996). An indictment will not be dismissed due to typographical
a defendant can affirmatively show that some prejudice resulted
from the errors.
See United States v. Rich, 518 F.2d 980, 986 (8th
denied, 427 U.S. 907 (1976). There was no prejudice to the
an indictment misspelled the word "coca" to read "cocoa" in a
cocaine count, Coppola v. United States, 217 F.2d 155 (9th
when it was apparent from the face of the indictment that the use
rather than "1973" was a typographical error, United States v.
F.2d 770 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 430 U.S. 908 (1976); or
indictment omitted the defendant's first name in one count,
United States v.
Lerma, 657 F.2d 786, 789 (5th Cir. 1981), cert. denied,
455 U.S. 921
(1982). One court, though, refused to allow the date of an offense
to be amended
from "1981" to "1980" where the government only offered the
that the error was attributable to typographical error without any
supporting such an allegation, as required by the local rules.
United States v. Randolph, 542 F. Supp. 11 (E.D. Tenn.