What Happens if You Miss a Court Date With a Criminal Case?

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What happens if you miss a court date? Missing a court date can have severe ramifications for your criminal case. The mere fact that you were not in court could be grounds for a bench warrant and arrest. Once you have promised to show up in court, you must keep your word. The failure to appear in court could be a separate offense that could land you in even more trouble.

Never ignore an instruction to appear in court, and always make sure that you keep track of your calendar, so you know where to be and when. If you are facing a traffic ticket, or more serious DUI or reckless driving charges, contact Tyler Moffitt at Moffitt Law, LLC to discuss your case.

You Must Show Up in Court

If you have been issued a traffic ticket, you can always pay the fine before the court date. This will conclusively end the matter. However, you may have responded to the ticket, indicating that you intend to fight in court. Then, you would be given a court date that you must observe. There can be serious consequences if you do not show up in court.

Depending on the circumstances, you could even be sent to jail for up to three days for a willful failure to appear in court. There could still be punishment if your failure to appear was inadvertent.

What Happens After You Miss a Court Date

You will be notified after you miss the court date that you have 30 days to either dispose of the charges against you or waive arraignment and plead not guilty. If you do not respond to the court within this period, your license will be suspended. Your license would not be restored until the traffic charges against you are adjudicated, and you pay a $50 restoration fee. In the meantime, if you are caught driving with a suspended license, you could face even more significant penalties.

Many serious traffic offenses require an actual appearance in court, and they cannot be resolved simply by paying a fine. Then, you would not have any grace period to resolve the charges before your license is suspended.

For example, if you were charged with DUI or reckless driving, the judge would issue a bench warrant for your arrest if you missed your court date. Your license would also be automatically suspended, if it has not already been. You could even be sent to jail while awaiting trial, where you may only be released if you can post bail.

The Consequences for the Failure to Appear in Court

Further, failing to appear in court could be an even more serious offense if you are already out on probation. You could even lose your probation and be sent to prison. You may end up with stricter terms of your probation or having to pay a hefty fine.

When you miss a court date, there are two separate issues involved. There is an underlying traffic offense, such as a DUI. In addition, you would also need to resolve the matter of failing to appear in court. You may need to pay an additional fine and explain why you did not appear in court in the first place. Your license can at least be restored while you are waiting for the resolution of the charges against you.

While it is never good to miss a court date, an experienced criminal defense attorney could work to help you resolve the situation. Consider hiring an attorney at the outset of your case, depending on the severity of the charge. If you are facing DUI charges, you should always hire an attorney to help defend you.

Contact a Georgia Traffic Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing a serious traffic citation or DUI charges, you need the help of an experienced attorney. Moffitt Law, LLC could provide you with a vigorous and pragmatic legal defense in your case. The first step is to call us as soon as possible at 762-200-2924 or message us online to schedule your free initial consultation. Hiring a lawyer could keep you from making mistakes that could land you in more trouble.

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