Speed Defense Myth: If the Officer Doesn't Show up, You Win
Wrong. The officer is going to be at court. He usually has one day per month when he’s due at each court in his jurisdiction, and he will be there.
If the officer doesn’t show up, it’s not an automatic victory for the defense. First of all, the judge is going to ask where the officer is because he is required to be at court as well. In most cases when the officer isn’t there, it’s because he has a legitimate reason. They’re officers, so they do have emergency duties that occur or different assignments that pop up that can conflict with their court schedule. That’s what happens a lot of times, that they’re not there because of official business. In those situations, the judge would normally continue the case to the officer’s next court date.
Officers are people too, so personal emergencies arise such as family situations, illness, death, things like that. Just like if you called into the court and said that your mother had just passed away so you can’t make it to court, the judge would continue the case for you, the same applies to the officer. If there’s some kind of emergency, and the officer notifies the court somehow of what’s going on, most judges would automatically continue the case one time for that situation.
Both situations do depend on the judge. However, I don’t know any judge in Virginia that will automatically dismiss the case just because the officer is not there. There needs to be more to the situation to earn a dismissal. If the officer doesn’t show up and doesn’t call in, and the judge has no idea where he is, then the case might be dismissed. However, it is not an automatic victory just because the officer doesn’t show up.
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