If an officer doesn’t come to the hearing, is the case dismissed?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

You may have heard in the past that you can have your DUI case, or other serious traffic violation case, dismissed if the arresting officer doesn’t appear in court. That isn’t exactly the truth, and thinking that way could result in you being ill-prepared for what comes next.

Any time you face trouble with the law, you need to prepare to defend yourself. If an officer doesn’t appear for the hearing, that doesn’t mean that the case won’t be continued or that you get a “get out of jail free” card.

When an officer doesn’t show up, there could be a continuance

The first thing to realize is that the court has the opportunity to issue a continuance if the officer doesn’t appear in court for some reason. For example, if the officer calls in the morning to state that they cannot come to court because they’re dealing with an emergency on a nearby highway, then the judge may issue a continuance to have the hearing at another time. The judge may continue the case to the officer’s next court date.

While there could be times when your case would be dropped because the officer doesn’t appear, those are few and far between.

How do you get a DUI case dismissed to prevent any repercussions?

If you want to get your DUI case dismissed, you shouldn’t assume that an officer not showing up in court is going to be enough. Even if the judge frowns on the officer not appearing, there is likely evidence that could be used against you. The judge could decide to move forward with the case on another court date, too.

To get a DUI case dismissed, it’s better to work with your attorney to determine if the traffic stop was valid and then to challenge the results of field sobriety or Breathalyzer tests. If you are able to show that the traffic stop was invalid or that the tests you were given came back with inaccurate results, then you may be in a better position to argue against charges and to get your case dismissed.