If you miss a scheduled court date after being arrested for a criminal offense, the consequences can be severe. Here’s what you need to know to be prepared and how to get help navigating the legal system.
Your Court Date Has Passed — What Should You Do?
If your court date has come and gone and you didn’t appear, it’s important that you understand what you should and shouldn’t do:
What to Do Now
- Take action as quickly as you can after you fail to appear in court. The longer you delay, the worse the potential consequences may be.
- Talk to a lawyer. If you work with an attorney, they can contact the court for you to inform them of your situation.
What Not to Do
- Failure to appear in court in the future. If you’ve missed a scheduled court appearance, it’s critical that you attend all upcoming dates.
- Conceal the truth about missing your court appearance. You should disclose the truth about why you were unable to appear in court on time, even if the reason doesn’t paint you in the best light.
What to Prepare For After Missing Criminal Court
If you’ve missed your criminal court appearance, you should consider the following potential penalties:
Your Bond May Be Revoked or Altered
Your bail may be raised or even withdrawn completely if you miss a trial date because you are deemed a higher flight risk. This means you’ll be detained until your next appointed hearing. Typically, the court will only pursue these steps if a judge believes your absence was purposeful.
A Warrant for Your Arrest May Be Issued
When someone fails to attend their court hearing, a bench warrant is usually issued right away. However, an active warrant may be issued instead depending on the offense for which the defendant is accused of.
You May Be Charged With a Crime
You may also be charged with failure to appear, which is generally a misdemeanor. Even if you are later found not guilty of the original crimes you were charged with, you are likely still going to be on the hook for failing to appear.
Get Help From an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
It’s critical that there’s as little delay as possible following the failure to appear at your scheduled court hearing. Don’t wait to reach out to Palm Beach County defense attorney Michael T. Rabideau today for a consultation by calling (561) 820-4848.