What Happens If I Miss My Court Date?
Whether you receive a summons or notice in the mail to appear in court for a minor criminal charge or traffic ticket, either option is a court order. Depending on the charges against you, you might be required to appear in court more than once during a criminal case – for an arraignment, pre-trial conference, hearing, trial, and sentencing.
If you fail to appear as ordered, you have violated the court order. The judge can charge you with the criminal offense of failure to appear or contempt of court.
In addition to charging you with a crime, the court can take several actions for failure to appear in court:
- Bench warrant. A bench warrant directs police officers to take a person into custody and bring him or her before the court to address the reason you failed to appear. A defendant can be held without bond on a bench warrant until the court schedules a hearing.
- Jail sentence, fines, and other penalties. If a person is found guilty of failure to appear or contempt of court, a judge can impose jail time or fines. Furthermore, the judge can order that an individual’s driver’s license is suspended.
- Change in conditions of release. If the court previously did not make it mandatory for a person to post a bond and released him or her on their own recognizance, the judge could change the conditions of release by imposing a bond. If an individual posted bond, the judge could increase the bond amount.
Let Our Broken Arrow Criminal Defense Attorney Help
If you missed a court appearance or discover a court has issued a warrant against you, it is imperative to consult with a lawyer immediately. Alternatives to going directly to jail might be available in your case.
At Saint & Watzke, PLLP, our Broken Arrow criminal defense attorney understands how to handle an arrest warrant and inform you about the laws regarding failure to appear. We can provide the legal support necessary to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.