What happens if the arresting officer doesn't show up for court?

John Lawrence Buckley

Written by

DUI / DWI Attorney - Denver, CO

Contributor Level 16

Posted almost 5 years ago. Applies to Colorado, 3 helpful votes



First Court Appearance

This is often an arraignment where the court formally informs you of the charges against you and your legal rights. In Colorado, officers are not required to appear at your arraignment and your case will not be dismissed for their failure to appear.


Subsequent Pretrial Conferences

Again, officers are not required to appear at these court dates.


Pretrial Motions Hearings

Officers are required to appear at this hearing. If motions to suppress evidence or motions to dismiss have been filed, judges may grant them by default if the officer does not appear. Of course, this is not automatic. Officers may have emergencies like anyone else. I have had officers not appear for these hearings because their wives were in labor and no judge will grant a motion to dismiss under these circumstances. Attorneys would look like jerks if they asked. However, if the prosecutor did not exercise "due diligence" in obtaining the presence of their critical witnesses, judges may dismiss under these circumstances.



Obviously, the officer is required to be present at this final stage. Again, exceptions occur but the prosecutor must establish that they exercised due diligence in obtaining the presence of their witnesses.

Additional Resources

Buckley Law Office

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