Many people ask questions like “Does the officer have to be at my court date?” or “What happens if the officer doesn’t show up?” or “Will my case be dismissed if the officer doesn’t show up?” These questions are usually based on a mistaken belief that if an officer does not show up, a case will somehow be thrown out. This is not true in most cases.
In most cases, officers are not required to be at the initial court date or any court date. The only time the officer is required to appear is either at a trial or at a motion hearing. And, this is only true if the prosecutor needs the officer as a witness to prove something for that hearing.
If for some reason the officer is not available at one of these hearings, the prosecutor will generally ask for a continuance. In most courts, the judge will grant the prosecutor’s request to continue the case unless the officer has habitually not shown up.
The exception to this general rule is Administrative License Suspension Hearings. At these hearings, the officer is usually prosecuting the case and needs to be there.
If you or a family member are facing a criminal, juvenile, or traffic case, we can help. Contact the experienced attorneys at Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm for a complimentary Defense Strategy Meeting.
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