What Happens if I Miss My Court Date?
Sometimes, life gets in the way of important appointments. Children get sick, emergencies come up, and last-minute plans intervene. In some cases, you just can’t make it. When it comes to your court date, however, failing to appear could land you in serious trouble.
Failure to Appear
What you may not realize is that missing a court date can actually result in being charged with an entirely new offense – “failure to appear.” Instead of just dealing with the original charge, you are now facing two criminal cases. The seriousness of your original crime will dictate whether you are charged with misdemeanor or felony failure to appear. This may very well mean additional fines and possibly even years of jail time. Simply put, judges do not like it when people fail to show up for court.
Depending on the nature of the original charge, the judge may even issue a bench warrant for your arrest. This means police have the authority to act on the warrant and arrest you at any time. When you fail to appear, you technically become a fugitive from the law – not a pleasant way to live.
If you are arrested pursuant to the bench warrant, you must appear in front of the judge to explain why you failed to appear in court. As you might imagine, telling the judge “something came up” or “I didn’t feel well” is unlikely to help your case.
If You Have Missed a Court Date, I Can Help
If you have already missed a court date, you may be panicked about your situation. Perhaps you had a legitimate emergency that day or couldn’t take time off work without losing your job. Maybe you were just scared. Whatever the reason, it is not too late to take action in your case. The worst thing you can do is avoid it – the charges won’t go away, nor will the court just “forget” about you. Contact me to discuss your case and explore your options.
Experienced Indianapolis Criminal Defense
Your future is important. Don’t wait – speak to a criminal defense attorney today. Call me at 317-983-5333 for a free consultation.
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