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Dozens of tickets dismissed after arresting officer misses court

It may not seem as though it is possible or worth the time to challenge traffic tickets. However, the consequences of repeated violations or serious charges may end up being quite significant. Whether a person is cited for speeding, reckless driving or driving without insurance, these violations can affect driving privileges and, in some cases, a person's career. Sometimes, challenging a ticket can be as easy as showing up for court.

Recently, dozens of traffic charges were dismissed after a North Carolina state trooper failed to show up for several court hearings involving citations he had issued. In all, 90 citations, ranging from reckless driving to DWI, were tossed out because the officer did not show up to defend them.

The trooper was the state's main witness in all these cases because he was the only witness to the alleged infractions. Since he did not show up, there could be no hearing. It is unclear why the trooper did not show up in court, but some speculate that it is because he is on administrative leave for his own felony charge. Others say he did not attend because he had not received a subpoena to do so from the highway patrol.

The people who had their tickets dismissed may not be out of the woods just yet, however. Depending on who filed the dismissals, charges may still be pursued until the statute of limitations on them runs out. In cases where the driver was cited for DWI, they have two years to re-file charges.

However, because the officer did not show up to court on this day, his credibility may suffer in future testimonies. Even if these people do end up having to go back to court, it may be possible to challenge his credibility and therefore the events he claims led up to an arrest.

Source:, "Wayne Holyfield Misses Court, DWI Cases Dismissed," Mark Geary, May 1, 2012

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