Does a police officer have to show up to court for a DUI charge? 66 Answers as of June 14, 2011

Does the cop have to show up to court for a DUI case? Can I still be charged if the cop doesn't show up to my court date?

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Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
Yes. There is no requirement that the officer must appear for the court date.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
The officer only for the trial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/13/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
He doesn't have to show up for your arraignment but he would for any trial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/13/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
The charging officer must show up at trial or the prosecutor may be forced to dismiss the case. The case cannot be prosecuted at trial without witnesses.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 6/10/2011
Deal & Hooks, LLC
Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
You can still be charged but the State will need a witness at trial to identify you and state in what manner you were driving while intoxicated. Because you cannot be compelled to testify against yourself that cannot be you. If the State does not have a witness who can identify you and state how you were driving under the influence it cannot go forward.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/10/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    You can still be charged with a DUII charge if the officer doesn't show up to the first court date. The officer really only need to attend a trial on a DUII charge.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Does an arresting Officer have to show up for the arraignment on a DUI? No. Does the Officer have to show up for a subsequent court date such as a settlement conference? No. Would an Officer have to show up for a hearing? Typically, yes. Does the Officer have to show up for trial? Yes. Will the Officer actually show up in they have to appear? Typically, yes. The Officer will be paid to make his appearance, often pulling in over time to do so. In most cases the Officer would rather sit in an air conditioned building getting paid over time, than to be out on the streets dealing with drunk drivers.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    You can still be charged and probably already have been if you have a court date. However, you do have a right to cross examine your accuser so there are exceptions where if an officer fails to make a court appearance when they have been properly subpoenaed you might be allowed to move to dismiss the charges. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Absolutely- how can they prove you were driving without him?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    At trial, if the police officer is the witness to driving and drinking, then yes. If this is made out by others, then it will not matter if the police officer is in Court at trial. It is not necessary for witnesses to appear in Court for a Pre-Trial.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    If you plead guilty to the charge at your arraignment the police officer does not have to appear in Court. Your first appearance is normally an arraignment and the police are not there for your arraignment. If you plead not guilty and request a trial the police officer must appear in Court to prosecute the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    The only time the cop is required to show up to appear at court is for trial.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    He only needs to be there on the trial date, not the first appearance.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    In Oregon, The police officer only has to appear at the time of trial; not at the arraignment or other preliminary hearings. So yes, you can be charged, but you cannot be tried without testimony from a witness, generally the police officer.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Only at the trial.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Yes. In most cases the officer will have to testify.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    It depends on what stage your case is in. The cop generally doesn't have to show up unless he is subpoenaed for trial, or certain pre-trial hearings. They do not need to be at court for the arraignment (which is the first court date of a case). See my website for more info. Do you have an attorney handling this case for you? If not, I would recommend consulting a DUI attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Anderson & Carnahan
    Anderson & Carnahan | Stephen Anderson
    The police officer does not have to show up in court unless a trial or motion hearing is set.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    If you are referring to your arraignment (first court date), then no the cop does not have to show up. DUII is a crime and crimes work differently from traffic violations. Usually the police officer does have to show up at trial, however, as the state must have his testimony in order to prove the case. It is a very rare DUII case that could be proven without at least one police officer's testimony.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    At arraignment cop who arrested is not required, but at trial cop must appear.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    This is a crime and not a traffic violation in which the case can be dismissed if the officer does not show up. In this case the officer would only need to show up if you go to trial. You should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    The cop is not required to show unless and until the case goes to trial. There are usually several court settlement dates before trial. Also, it is possible for the DA to proceed without the officer at trial although this would be very unusual.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    By court date do you mean trial? There would only be a preliminary exam if it is a felony DUI charge due to at least two other DUI charges on your record. In either case, someone with personal knowledge is going to have to show up and testify so the prosecution can meet their burden of proof. In almost all cases, that lot will fall upon the arresting officer. If he does not show up, then the charges will almost have to be dismissed because they would not be able to proceed. Keep in mind, it's probably not very likely that a police officer would not show up for a DUI trial. It's possible, but I wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Cop only has to show for the Trial and/or motions hearing. If no show generally they make a better offer, don't want to force them to make cop come because you generally will lose a trial.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    The officer will only need to attend a trial, and possibly a motions hearing prior to trial. The officer does not have to attend every court date.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    It depends on what the court date is for. If it is just an arraignment or calendar call, no, the officer will not need to be there. If it is a motions hearing or trial, the prosecutor will need witnesses to prove the case against you at some point. If your only plan to deal with this case is a hope that the officer won't show up, be prepared to walk to probation and community service. You really should consider hiring an attorney in your area who knows DUI and license suspension law. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If the case is in a status state, and not set for trial, the officer does not need to be present. However, if in trial state, he must appear. Understand, in Illinois, the prosecution has 160 days to bring the case to trial, if you have answered ready for trial and demanded immediate trial. Your lawyer will be the one to fill you in on the details.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Allan & Summary
    Allan & Summary | Justin Summary
    A police officer involved in the DWI arrest will have to be at your trial to testify, but he/she will not have to appear at all of your court dates prior to the trial date.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    The Purnell Law Firm
    The Purnell Law Firm | Simon Purnell
    If the police officer is the witness to either the operation of the vehicle or the alleged intoxication, then yes, they mist appear. Without them, the state cannot meet their burden.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    The simple answer is that, yes, you can still be charged, because the prosecutor might seek a continuance if you ask for a trial and the witness is unavailable. But retain a criminal attorney to help you with your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Yes, I don't see how they could prove their case without their witness. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC
    The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC | Justin C. Olsinski
    If you are scheduled for the court date you are already charged with the crime. The officer does have to be there for most court dates, usually everyone after the initial appearance. However, the State can ask, and will usually ask for a continuance if the officer is not there for some reason. Even if your defense lawyer does not consent to the continuance the judge will usually grant the State at least one continuance for an officer not being present.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    The police officer will not be at many of your hearings, and might not ever appear, unless you demand a trial. A DWI is not like a speeding ticket, where the only hearing is a Court Trial. A DWI will have a series of hearings; The number of those hearings will depend on if you are charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony level DWI. The police office will not show up for the first hearing, as he is not required to be there.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A police officer need not show up for a court date unless or until there is a trial. At trial, the officer would be required to testify regarding the basis of the stop and the particulars of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    The first court date is the arraignment and the officer is not required to be present. If you plead not guilty, another court date will be scheduled and the officer will eventually have to show up. Most judges give the officer several chances to show up before they dismiss a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    If the court date is just an arraignment, then no witnesses are subpoenaed because an arraignment is not a trial date. If the arresting officer does not show up for a trial date, more than likely the court will re-schedule at least one time. If the arresting officer does not show up for two trial dates without having a good reason (such as military service, illness, injury, etc.) the court will most likely dismiss the case for want of prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    The police officer does not have to be in court for every court date leading up to trial. However, in order for the prosecutor to attempt to prove their case against you, the officer will have to appear in court to testify at any pretrial hearings, if granted and at your trial.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber | Marshall Tauber
    If your case is actually scheduled for trial then the officer will be there but the officer doesn't have to show for your pretrials or motion hearings.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Sharifi & Baron
    Sharifi & Baron | S. Yossof Sharifi
    Police officers on your case need to come to only a handful of hearings. Most notably, any motions where an evidentiary hearing is requested, any preliminary hearings, any time the judge requires them to be there, and the trial. The case can be dismissed if he's not there, but unless the DUI is dismissed with prejudice, the prosecution can refile the DUI charges.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Cops don't need to show up unless there is a trial set and the cop has been subpoenaed as a witness to testify. Your initial court date is called the arraignment, where cops never need to show up.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    The officer is only required to appear at a motion that requires officer testimony or a trial. The officer will not be present at the arraignment or any pretrial dates.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I would recommend consulting with an attorney if you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances. This answer does not contain specific legal advice. Speaking generally, an officer involved in the case may be present at court but it depends on the type of court proceeding that day and who the officer is. A DUI, OWI, OUI i.e, an alcohol related traffic offense is usually charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Officers usually won't be present at any of the court dates for misdemeanors or felonies unless they receive a subpoena to appear. Occasionally, they may appear at pretrials or other types of proceedings; however, generally, they are not required to appear unless they are potentially required to testify for some reason. I would recommend consulting with an attorney if you need specific information regarding your particular circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq.
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
    In Massachusetts, the police officer needs to be present for evidentiary motions and trial. On days like arraignment, the officer is not required to be present.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    The only time the cop has to show up for court is the date that you have the trial. The police do not have to show up for arraignments or pretrials. They would need the cop to testify at trial (Or an evidentiary hearing).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    It depends upon whether there was a prior hearing where the police officer already testified, if you gave a statement that may come in to court. Generally in order for the State to be able to prove their case, the witness has to testify. If the officer was the only witness, then generally in order for you to be found guilty, the officer would have to testify.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    The prosecutor has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Generally, the testimony of the arresting officer is helpful in establishing that burden. However, if it can be established by other admissible evidence, then the police officer would not have to appear.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The police officer will be present if your case goes to trial. If he does not appear at trial it will be adjourned. Eventually the case must be dismissed if the arresting officer does not appear for trial.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    In any criminal case, the state must prove the elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Who the state calls as witnesses depends on what that witness saw and what they can testify to. In some cases a particular witness may not show up and it may not be fatal to the government's case. In order to determine how to best handle your case you should hire an experienced attorney quickly.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker | Steven Decker
    A police officer / witness does not have to appear on the initial status dates but must appear for the trial date.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC
    Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC | Brandon Moffitt
    Yes, if it goes to trial.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    If your DUI case is set for TRIAL, not just arraignment or pretrial, and the officer fails to appear, the case would ultimately get dismissed for lack of prosecution. However, the officers are subpoenaed to come to court. The case is prosecuted by the DA not like a traffic case. If the officer is unable to come to court and the court finds good cause, and if you have waived time, the case will likely get postponed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of William S. Smith
    Law Office of William S. Smith | William S. Smith
    If the court date is for your actual trial, then yes, the officer who stopped you and made observations of you would have to show up and testify. But for merely pre-trial hearing court dates he or she generally need not do so (though one major exception for this would be if your lawyer filed a motion to suppress or dismiss on your behalf and your case was then scheduled for an evidentiary hearing on your motion, the facts of which involved the officer).
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes, at trial on any case, and at preliminary hearing on felonies. Not until. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be. Keep in mind a little free advice: When you are arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking you were given documents that included a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic one-year suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    No, an officer does not have to appear in court. You or your attorney must appear. The only time an officer must be in court is if they are called to testify at a hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    The police officer is probably an essential witness for trial, meaning the state can't prove its case without the officer. If there was more than one officer involved, maybe the state only needs one. And that's only for trial, or maybe a motion-to-suppress hearing. There are often several hearings before trial. If the police officer is not there at the trial, the trial will be rescheduled, or, occasionally, the charges will be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    Normally the officer will have to appear at trial and normally, in my experience, the officer will appear for trial.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Mercado & Hartung
    Mercado & Hartung | Stephanie Hartung
    A police officer is only required to appear in court for a criminal charge when he has been subpoenaed (ordered to appear). A police officer is not required to appear at the arraignment, or pretrials for criminal charges, so your case will not be dismissed based on his non-appearance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Trial yes, pretrial, no.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Kyle T. Green, PLLC
    Law Office of Kyle T. Green, PLLC | Kyle T. Green
    If the officer fails to appear at your trial, the case will likely be dismissed. However, the officer is not required to show up for any other court dates - outside of an evidentiary hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    They will need to appear at trial, but not your first court date. Your court date is just the date you have to appear on your case to begin the process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    It's not like a traffic ticket. You may have many court dates. The cop would only show up if you set your matter for trial. Even then, the matter would not be dismissed unless it was the "LAST DAY" for trial under your speedy trial rights. If you execute a time waiver, then that could also prevent dismissal. Be aware that since the matter (DUI) is a misdemeanor, the officer is much more likely to appear for the case as he will be under subpoena by the prosecuting attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
    At the trial they probably will, though their written reports, medical & scientific evidence (ie: blood alcohol) and such can be introduced as evidence w/o the officer in many situations. They won't be at the arraignment or any other proceeding but trial (unless a prelim is held).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
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