If the police officer who wrote me my court summons does not attend the court hearing, does the case get thrown out?

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If the police officer who wrote me my court summons does not attend the court hearing, does the case get thrown out?

When the police officer wrote me my court summons earlier tonight (due to underage possession of alcohol) he told me that we would be unable to attend the court hearing he scheduled me for. Since I have the right to face my accuser in a court of law, doesn’t this mean that the case will be dropped and the police officer just meant the summons to be a warning?

Asked on August 26, 2012 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you were given a criminal citation for having possession of alcohol as a minor by law enforcement and the citing officer fails to attend the presumed trial of your matter as opposed to the arraignment, then the court is obligated to dismiss the charge against you due to the prosecution not being able to present its case in chief against you at trial.

Just because the citing officer fails to appear in court does not mean the citation was issued to you as a warning.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There are several things that could happen:

1) Court be adjourned to a different date, that the officer can appear at it.

2) If charges are dropped, they may be dropped without prejudice--that  means they could be re-filed against you.

3) Or charges would be dismissed with prejudice, so they will not be reinstated.

Therefore, while there is a chance this will result in the dismissal of charges against you, that's only one of several possible outcomes.


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