If a man was charged with possesion of a small amount of marijana at a traffic stop, the charged man showed up to court at the assigned hearing date and time and the Officer had not turned in the paperwork by that time, shouldn't the case be dissmissed?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Arizona
Went to court. They say he has to go back to court when the officer turns in the paperwork. (It's a XX XXXX XXXXX)
Hi Jacustomer,Sorry, but no. it doesn't get dismissed. This is not like a traffic ticket whereby if the police officer doesn't come on the first court date, the charges must be dismissed. This is a criminal offense and the police officer doesn't have to show up in the courtroom for the defendant to be prosecuted. He just has to turn his paperwork over to the prosecutor. He is likely waiting for the lab results. Police forensic labs are busy places. Possession of anything less than two pounds of marijuana in Arizona is a serious charge, which could be treated as a Misdemeanor or a Felony. Of course this sort of thing cannot go on indefinitely, A criminal defendant has a right to a speedy trial, but at the beginning of a criminal case, it's not at all unusual for the case to get adjourned on the first court date because the prosecutor doesn't have all the paperwork he needs to go forward. I assume whoever you are talking about here has a lawyer. If so, his lawyer should be told how difficult it is for him to travel to court and how very frustrating it is for him to have come all that way for nothing. He should ask his lawyer to try to get him excused from court on dates when nothing more than a status update is going to happen. That will make the case a great deal easier on him. It's been my experience that judges will give a defendant at least some leeway rather than make his attendance into a great hardship, so long as he does come in for those dates that the court requires it.FranL41086.679658912
There was no labs results to wait for. Is there any penalty to the officer for not getting his paperwork turned in in a timely manor?
Hi Tamela,The defendant is under court mandate. The officer is not. They are the enforcement arm of the Prosecutor's office. If the delay is of concern to the prosecutor, they will make their feelings known to the officer and/or his superiors and he may or may not get reprimanded for it, but that's an internal office matter and would play no part in the case.If your friend here were incarcerated, the state's failure to be ready with their paperwork should allow him to be released. If, however, the defendant is at liberty, the case just gets adjourned,Still, the delay on the part of the prosecutor is helpful to the defendant. In Arizona, the speedy trial law states that the prosecution must be ready for trial within 180 days of his arrest. So whenever the prosecutor shows up without being ready to go forward, that tiime gets charged to them, and comes off of that 180 day total. Eventually then, if he never gets his papers, the judge will dismiss the case. But not now. They have 180 days *minus this last delay, to get their act together.
18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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