You have been stopped for drunk driving by a police officer in South Carolina. You fail the breathalyzer test, are arrested on the spot and taken to jail for the night. Later, you bail out and are asked to come to court. What happens if you show up and the police officer who arrested you does not? Is your case dismissed? Well, it depends on the jurisdiction. The life of a police officer is busy; they are often asked to attend various emergencies all the time and cannot always come to court. In the old days, when cops did not show up in court to testify against you, the judge usually dismissed the case.
Today a lot has changed. From the time a police officer suspects that you are driving drunk, everything is recorded on video and audio. Apart from the car camera, most officers in the US also wear a body camera which records the entire interaction with the driver. All this is evidence which is never discarded. Therefore, when a police officer cannot make it to court for a valid reason, the judge will rely on the audio and video evidence to convict or dismiss the case.
However, sometimes a law enforcement officer will be asked to come to court because the judge may want additional information in addition to the audio and video recordings. Sometimes the video may not have captured the essential facts about the case, or some scenes may have been deleted, or the DUI lawyer may want to cross-examine the officer about some details. In such cases, the court will notify the officer that they must show up. If the officer has been assigned some duties for that day, his supervisor must delegate those duties to another officer so that the concerned officer can attend court. And in such circumstances, if the officer still does not show up, the case is most likely dismissed.
In the US criminal justice system, prosecutors usually are able to get convictions if they can prove guilt beyond the shadow of a doubt. Modern-day DUI cases are quite complex and include multiple officers, the breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, reading of the Miranda rights, and the video/audio recordings. In some cases, the evidence may be clear cut, and the judge may waive the appearance of the arresting police officer and permit the continuation of the case.
However, there are cases of DUI which are not so simple. The driver may have had a medical problem for their aberrant behavior, the video may have been erased, or the conduct of the officer may have been suspicious. In such cases, the DUI lawyer may want to cross-examine the officer, who must show up.
Therefore, when it comes to your DUI charge being dismissed because the officer does not show up in court is concerned, it completely depends on the circumstances of the case and the judge’s analysis. But as far as you’re concerned, if you have been charged with a DUI and if you have a court appearance, you should just do your part. The best way to be prepared to go to a court is to have a DUI attorney who specializes in DUI cases. A DUI lawyer will be able to defend your case and see how things play out if the police officer involved in the case does not show up.
Contact a DUI Attorney at The Bateman Firm
At the Bateman Firm, we always recommend that one should not drink and drive. But these things still continue to happy. If you live in Greenville, SC and have been charged with a DUI, you should take this charge seriously and contact a DUI lawyer immediately. The Bateman Firm has an excellent team of DUI attorneys who understand how to handle DUI cases. In case you have a court appearance and the officer does not show up, you will not know what to do with this if you do not have a qualified DUI attorney to defend you. On the other hand, if such a thing happens, and if your DUI charge is not clear cut, this could be the perfect opportunity for your DUI lawyer to get the charges dropped or to reduce the penalty. Call our office today and schedule an appointment so that our DUI lawyers can help you.