Learn What Happens In Maryland If A Police Officer Does Not Appear For a Traffic Ticket

What If The Officer Never Shows Up To Court?

In Maryland, and most other places around the country, people have long heard that if a police officer fails to show up to court on the date that your traffic violation is heard, then the case will be dismissed and you will be free to leave. While there is some truth to that, your Maryland traffic case will not automatically be dismissed.

First things first, officers in Maryland often have particular days where they are scheduled to be in court. On these days, the majority of the cases they are involved in are scheduled to be dealt with, ensuring that the officer is present on days where he or she might be needed. Given the multiple cases likely to be handled that day, the officer typically has a big incentive to show up.

So what happens if he or she doesn’t? Most of the time, if an officer fails to show it is because something came up. Just like if you became sick or had car trouble or had a family emergency, the judge presiding over the case could grant a continuance so that the case will be heard a later date. The same courtesy that would be extended to defendants is usually extended to officers, especially those that take the time to warn the court of their absence. If the case is continued, then the officer has another opportunity to show up and testify.

However, some judges may not be in charitable moods and might instead deny a continuance. In that case, the judge will likely dismiss the case. If so, consider it your lucky day as the matter will now be considered dispensed with. Though this kind of dismissal is possible, it’s important to underscore that this does not happen every time a Maryland police officer fails to appear for a court date.