Where’s the beef?
Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
Where's The Beef... Do you remember the Wendy’s commercial with the three ladies sliding around in the back seat of car as the searched for the beef in the competitors’ hamburgers? Sometimes I face the situation of “Where’s the officer?” Often people ask me if their case will be dismissed if the police officer does not show up for court. The answer is … maybe! It depends on the reason the officer is not present, the type of case, and the judge. Matney Law PLLC is a law firm located in Newport News Virginia, that specializes in DUI and Traffic Court defense. Check out or Avvo Reviews...
If The Charge Has Been Less Serious
This morning a state trooper was not present for court and the judge announced that the trooper was working at an accident scene and would not be able to arrive within a reasonable period of time. Since the trooper had contacted the court with an explanation for his absence, the judge continued his cases. My client today is facing a very serious reckless driving charge that could result in jail time and license suspension, so he was glad to have the court date continued to a new day. However, if the charge had been less serious, such as a speeding ticket or a low speed reckless driving case, the judge may have been willing to permit us to proceed in the absence of the trooper.
In two other recent cases, however, the charges against my clients were dismissed when the police officer did not appear for court. These cases involved a trooper who did not appear and did not notify the court of an excused absence, such as training or illness. Both clients avoided Reckless Driving by Speed. At other times, it is a witness who is missing. A client’s accident case (unsafe lane change) was dismissed last week when the officer’s witness did not arrive. Sometimes judges will give the police a continuance in this circumstance. However, I spoke with the officer and showed him my client’s driver improvement course certificate and other court preparations and the officer agreed to the case being dismissed instead of moved to a new date.