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Will your DUI charge be dismissed if the officer doesn't show up for court?

Will your DUI charge be dismissed if the officer doesn't show up for court?

There are many recurring myths on how to best beat a South Carolina DUI charge. One common one is that police officer’s don’t usually go to court, resulting in an automatic dismissal. Although this would be ideal, unfortunately it simply isn’t true.

How court dates are set:

Police officers have pre-scheduled court dates for all of their cases. Every ticket that they write on any given day will be assigned the same court date. Many officers only have court once or twice a month, meaning that they may have dozens of cases at once. This means that they have known about your court date for months in advance (many courts assign them a year out at a time).

If the officer has any type of scheduling issue, such as an injury, family emergency, military service, or even administrative suspension, all they or their supervisor have to do is notify the court and request the case be continued. This is almost always automatically granted by the court, will no advance notice to the defendants.

What happens if the officer still doesn’t appear?

In almost all instances the case will be continued automatically by the judge. We’ve seen numerous examples where court staff calls officers who aren’t present, and then continue the case when told are on vacation, on a day off, took a sick-day, working a wreck, or simply got their dates mixed up.

How should you handle your DUI arrest?

It’s never a good idea to plan your entire defense on hoping that an officer won’t show up and then that it will be dismissed. This type of wishful thinking is a good way to end up with a lifetime criminal record, suspended driver’s license, high insurance rates, and a fine.

The best way to address your DUI arrest is to hire an experienced attorney who will utilize a proven defense strategy for your type of case. The attorneys at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, can explain to you exactly what steps will be undertaken to give you the best chance of success with your case. The first step is to contact our office and request a copy of our free report on South Carolina DUI defense strategies, or to request a free consultation with an attorney.


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