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What Should I Do If I Miss My Criminal Court Date?

What Should I Do If I Miss My Criminal Court Date?


The repercussions of missing a scheduled court date after being charged with criminal conduct can be drastic. Here’s what you should understand about navigating the court system after missing an appearance and where to get reliable legal assistance. 

Missed Your Court Appearance?

If you missed your court date, there are several steps to take next, as well as some things you should avoid in order to best protect your rights: 

What You Should Do 

  • Take immediate action. Don’t wait to take steps to rectify the matter if you can help it. 
  • Contact an experienced lawyer. Allow your attorney to contact the judge on your behalf to find out the next steps. 

What You Shouldn’t Do 

  • Fail to appear at future hearings too. If you’ve missed a hearing, it’s vital that you show up for all future court dates.
  • Keep the real cause for your absence from court secret. You should be truthful about why you did not show up at court on your scheduled date, even if the actual reason you didn’t appear paints you in a negative light. 

Consequences to Prepare For If You Don’t Show Up In Court    

If you fail to appear at your court hearing, the following may occur: 

Your Bond May Be Changed or Revoked 

If the judge presiding over your case believes you failed to appear willingly, you are likely to face more stringent penalties. For example, the amount of your bond may be raised, requiring you to pay more. Or, it may be revoked, meaning you’ll be incarcerated until your next hearing. 

A Judge Will Likely Issue a Warrant for Your Arrest  

When someone is unable to appear in court, a bench warrant is usually issued immediately following the missed hearing. However, a judge may decide instead to issue an active warrant instead, depending on the seriousness of the offense the defendant is accused of.

You Could Face Another Criminal Charge  

You may be charged with failing to appear, a criminal misdemeanor that carries its own penalties. This is of great concern, because even if you are later exonerated for the crime you were charged with, you are likely still going to be held responsible for missing your court date if it was intentional or willful. 

How to Get Assistance From an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer 

Contact Rachel Mirsky at Mirsky Defense today to start protecting your rights now after being charged with a crime. Call for a consultation at (203) 290-2779.

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