Failure to show up to court for a scheduled appearance after being arrested for a crime is a serious matter that warrants prompt response. Here’s what you should consider and where you can get experienced legal help.
You Didn’t Show Up At Court — Now What?
If you failed to make your court appearance, it’s crucial that you understand what steps you should take immediately as well as what you shouldn’t do:
Steps to Take Now
- Act fast. Don’t delay taking steps to rectify your missed court date as soon as you learn of it or are able to; if you do, the consequences may be more severe.
- Discuss your situation with a lawyer. An attorney can act as a go-between and notify the court of your unique circumstances.
Steps Not to Take
- Continuing to miss court appearances. It’s in your best interests to attend every scheduled hearing in the future.
- Hiding the real reason you missed court. Even if the explanation does not present you in the greatest light, you should be completely honest about why you did not appear at your scheduled court hearing.
Potential Consequences of a Missed Court Date
You may be subject to the following penalties if you fail to appear at a scheduled court hearing:
Alterations to Your Bond
It’s possible that if you miss your court date and the judge believes you did so knowingly and willfully, you may be penalized by having your bond raised or revoked. If your bond is revoked, you will be arrested and jailed until the date of your next hearing because you are considered too much of a flight risk.
An Arrest Warrant
When a person fails to appear in court, a bench warrant is normally issued instantaneously. Depending on the charge the person is facing, however, a judge may decide to issue an active warrant instead.
Failure to appear in court is a criminal charge in and of itself that may be levied against you, particularly if again, the judge believes you missed your hearing willfully and not due to circumstances outside your control. Even if you are found not guilty of the initial crimes you were charged with, typically, failure to appear charges still stand and are penalized.
Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Now
Your future is on the line if you’ve missed your court date. Get help from experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Chad Lewin at (800) 458-1488.