Is Missing a Court Date a Serious Issue?
Life can get hectic, and people miss appointments every day. Not surprisingly, many people wonder whether missing a court date is a serious matter – particularly when the court date was for a relatively minor offense, like a speeding ticket. The fact is that missing a court date is always a serious matter, regardless of the severity of the underlying offense that resulted in the court date in the first place.
A Missed Court Date Can Result in a Warrant for Your Arrest
If you miss a court date, the judge presiding over your case will likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest. This means that the police can arrest you at any moment, and likely will in the event that you have contact with them. For example, if you get pulled over for rolling a stop sign on your way to work and have a bench warrant, there is a good chance that you’ll be spending the rest of your work day in a jail cell. Imagine explaining that one to your boss!
A Missed Court Date Can Result in Additional Criminal Charges
In many jurisdictions, missing a court date is itself a crime that can compound the legal penalties that you are facing. Usually referred to as “failure to appear,” a criminal charge related to missing a court date could leave you facing additional fines or even jail time, depending on the circumstances.
A Missed Court Date Should Be Handled with Care
In some cases, an attorney may be able to get you a new court date simply by calling the court. You may need to provide the judge with a good explanation for missing the first one, however; if you can’t, you may be facing serious consequences. In addition, in the event that the court wants you to turn yourself in to get “processed” before issuing you a new court date, you should be sure to retain an attorney to represent you and walk you through that process to minimize delays and the time you spend in custody.
Retaining an Attorney from the Outset Can Avoid Missing Your Court Date in the First Place
Many of us are extremely busy with work, kids, social engagements, fitness, and everything else that makes up a modern adult life. As a result, even the most organized person you know could conceivably forget to attend a court date. For this reason, it’s highly advisable to retain an attorney to represent you the moment you are assigned a court date. Your lawyer will inform the court that he or she is representing you and will be responsible for appearing on your behalf when your court date arrives. In some cases, an attorney may even be able to resolve your case without you ever appearing in court at all.
If You Have Missed a Court Date, Call the St. Louis Criminal Defense Lawyers at Bruntrager & Billings as Soon as Possible
If you have missed a court date or have one coming up, it’s in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as you can. The St. Louis criminal defense lawyers at Bruntrager & Billings will be able to resolve your issue as favorably as possible and avoid any future issues related to the matter from arising. To schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team, call our office today at 314-646-0066 or contact us online.