There are few things the court dislikes more than a missed court date.
A court could demand your appearance for jury duty, for your own criminal
trial or hearing, for a family law dispute, and much more. When a judge
tells you to be in court at a certain time at a certain day, no matter
the reason, it is essentially a temporary law that applies just to you.
Failing to show up at your court date will be seen as a serious infraction
that can bring about severe legal penalties.
What Happens When You Miss Your Court Date
Bench warrant: The most common consequence of failing to show up at court is the creation
of a bench warrant against you. A bench warrant is essentially an arrest
warrant made specifically for your failure to appear, as it instructs
law enforcement officers to bring you in. You will be held without bond
when you are brought in until you can speak to a judge about why you missed
your court date. If you missed a jury duty summons, a bench warrant may
be on your name but police are rarely, if ever, instructed to seek them
out actively; instead, you could be arrested if and when a police officer
talks to you for any reason and discovers you have a bench warrant.
Criminal penalties: If you intentionally avoided your court date and this can be proven, you
will be held in contempt of court. This is a criminal violation and will
include jail time and fines as part of its penalties. Criminal penalties
are used as punishment usually only if the defendant was already accused
and charged of another crime.
Driver’s license suspension: In certain situations, it can be ordered that your driver’s license
be suspended until you show up for court and sort out any preexisting
legal issues. The suspension of an individual’s license is generally
implemented if he or she was supposed to appear in court for another driving-related
violation or citation.
Bond: A judge may sometimes release someone from custody after a criminal arrest
based on that person’s clean criminal record and good nature. Missing
a court date will likely make the judge add a high bail amount to a case
that previously had none at all.
Protecting Your Good Name & Freedom
When you know that you missed an important court date or summons, you can
safely bet that there is a bench warrant on your name. At the very least,
you know the court will not be appreciative of you the next time you do
show up looking for help. If you want to clear the matter up and save
as much face as possible, you should start by hiring a trustworthy criminal
Contact our Ventura criminal defense lawyers from The Law Offices of Jarrod M.
Wilfert if you have missed a court date, especially one pertaining to
a preexisting criminal case. We can hear your story and determine the
best way to bring it before the judge, showing that your absence should
be excusable. In the event that it seems the court will not forgive your
missed court date, we can prepare an argument that seeks minimal penalty.
No matter the avenue we explore, it is most important that you speak with us
before the court or turning yourself in.
Call 805.994.0560 for the legal guidance you need!