A question that is regularly asked of me is whether officers and witnesses appear at traffic hearings. The communities of Gainesville, Waldo and Alachua (Alachua County) or Ocala, Belleview and Dunnellon (Marion County) or Starke and Lawtey (Bradford County) or Lake City (Columbia County) are very different than the communities in South Florida. My understanding is that no show rates are higher down south, regardless, here in North Florida, witnesses and officers do fail to appear.
All officers and witnesses are subpoenaed to appear. Everyone knows that they are supposed to show up. Notwithstanding the issuance of a subpoena, people still fail to appear. There could be a problem with the service, a conflict in schedules, or the officer or trooper could be responding to an emergency.
This week in traffic infraction court in Alachua County I covered eleven (11) cases. The communities of Waldo, the Alachua County Sheriff, Gainesville, and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) on I-75 and rural roads were all subpoenaed to appear. Five (5) cases were dismissed due to the officers or witnesses failure to appear. One of the cases was a single car crash and the driver was represented. I always say that if you are cited for careless driving and no other person was involved, then you MUST be represented because the State cannot prove their case. This person having taken that advice had their careless driving single car crash case dismissed.
The life lesson is that if a person is facing an accusation from the government you should hire a lawyer to defend you in court and make the government prove the accusation. If you or a family member is cited for any traffic or criminal matter, please click or call today to hire a lawyer to represent you in court.