So this last Thursday afternoon I was in a local court representing a client on a Seattle Municipal Court DUI. We had a 3.6 hearing or for those not in the know. This is a motion to suppress evidence. In this case it was a motion to suppress the results of the breath test.
Anyway this case had been previously set for a motion hearing, but the police officer had called in sick. So we appeared this Thursday, all prepared to go. And the Prosecutor walks in and tells us the police officer just called in sick again. Well to say this was frustrating for my client and myself is putting it delicately. I was pretty pissed. Not because the Prosecutor just informed us as was walking into court. But I was pretty upset at this certain police officer.
You see I have had three jury trials with this particular officer. During the life of each of these cases, at least one time the police officer has called in sick for an important hearing. In fact the last case I had with this police officer was a Seattle DUI charge. With that case this police officer called in sick two times for the DOL hearing. He then called in sick two times for the motion hearing to suppress evidence. That is a total of 4 times this officer called in sick for an important part of the case. And like my current client, my former client had to miss work each time to appear at these hearings. And all four times the hearings were continued to another date. So that is four times my client missed work for nothing. All because of this certain police officer.
So to get back to the current case I have, my client turned to me and said, "what if I missed court, would the Judge just continue the case like they do for the police officer." And honestly the Judge wouldn't. Maybe the first time, but certainly not more than that. Especially if I just showed up and informed the Prosecutor 5 minutes before the hearing. I can tell you exactly what would happen. The Prosecutor would object, ask for a warrant, and the Judge was grant that request.
As a Seattle DUI lawyer this is a frustrating part of the process. Especially when certain officers seem to have knack for calling in sick 5 minutes for a hearing. Either these officers don't care about following up and justifying their DUI arrests and are lazy, or they genuinely are sick all the time. I tend to think its the former. But I guess that is just the cynic in me.
Matthew A. Leyba is a Seattle DUI Lawyer in Western WA. His practice focuses on representing those accused of DUI and other serious traffic offenses. If you have been arrested for a DUI contact our office for a free, no hassle 60 minute consultation.