What should I do if I missed my court date? 48 Answers as of July 19, 2011

I missed my court date last Thursday for an animal cruelty charge. What should I do?

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Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux | Scott Tibbedeaux
You should contact the court to arrange a new court date otherwise a warrant will be issued or may already have been done. Also, contact a lawyer or get a public defender. In a case of a felony, there is a 14 day grace period before a bench warrant is issued.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However, you should contact the court to see if there is a warrant out for your arrest and if so go to the court to vacate it. You can vacate it without an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/5/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Missing a court date results in a warrant being issued for your arrest. An attorney may often be able to stay the warrant after speaking with the prosecutor and have the matter set on for a new hearing date.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 7/5/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
Thank you for your inquiry. You should contact your attorney and arrange a new date for the one you missed. There may be consequences, but it is better than getting picked up on a warrant. I hope that this was helpful.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/5/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
There is now a warrant for your arrest. To handle a warrant, you must turn yourself into the court, with or without an attorney, and try to negotiate a recall of the warrant and a plea bargain on the new Failure to Appear charge, and negotiate any outstanding charges that caused the warrant. Doing so voluntarily will result in a better outcome than being brought in cuffs to court after arrest on the warrant. While this isn't a 'capital case', you face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Unless you're competent to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor trying to put you in jail, most people hire an attorney who can. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You should go to the court or call if it is too far away. You can call an attorney if you can afford it or call Legal Aid to surrender you on the bench warrant.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You need to appear in court or face getting arrested. A lawyer can help you avoid going to jail at least on the FTA.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Get to court as quickly as possible to see about recalling a bench warrant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Singh Law Office
    Singh Law Office | Kulvinder Singh
    Go back and explain why you missed the date. Ask clerk to give you a "walk in calendar" date and time to come back to court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    If you are represented by counsel, you need to contact them immediately to work this out. If not, your options are to contact the court and try to arrange an out-of-custody court date and request the warrant be quashed. If the court will not allow that, you may just have to make arrangements to turn yourself in on the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Contact the court and advise them of why you missed the date and make arrangements to appear as directed. If you have an attorney, your attorney may be able to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Schedule another date as soon as possible, make the appearance, tell the judge you are sorry for missing the court date (hopefully you had a good reason). You should stay out, unless judge issued a warrant. Warrant is active until you appear and have judge recall it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    IF you have an attorney, he or she should call the court and ask to have you placed on the Warrant Quashing Calendar. If you are unrepresented, you need to call the court and find out what you need to do to get the warrant quashed or vacated. Most courts have a specific time to hear those matters and the court should be able to tell you how to get yourself before the court. Be absolutely certain when you go to court to dress nicely, ditch any drugs or contraband on your person and possessions and leave any weapons in your vehicle. Also, turn your cell phone off as soon as you enter the courthouse. Judges get irate when a cell phone rings during court and you want the judge to be nice and get rid of your bench warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You must clear the default; turn yourself in as soon as possible. It is important to know if a judge is available as bail will need to be set. You should call the clerk's office and simply explain that you missed court and want to clear it up. Hopefully the clerk will advise you a judge is in the building and you can come right over to turn yourself in. Don't get caught speeding to the court as if you are stopped you very likely will have a warrant out for your arrest. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You should retain our office to represent you in surrendering to the court, because there is likely a warrant out for your arrest.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Report to the Court Clerk's office right away and ask for a new court date. You may have a Bench Warrant out for you and the earlier you go to court the better. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would strongly recommend that you deal with and address this matter as soon as possible, including retaining a criminal attorney to help you address whether or not a bench warrant could be lifted, along with all your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Contact the court right away and they may be able to reset your appearance without consequence. If a warrant for fail to appear has been issued, you should contact an attorney to assist you in surrendering to the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    Missing a court date can often result in the issuance of a bench warrant for your arrest as well as fines for contempt of court. You should consider hiring a criminal defense attorney in your jurisdiction to represent you in this matter. It may be possible for your attorney to contact the courts on your behalf and negotiate the lifting of the warrant in return for your promise to appear and pay fines. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Very bad. Missing a court date, even if you are not out on bail, can constitute the separate offense of "bail jumping" if you don't straighten it out within 30 days. Call the clerk and arrange to surrender yourself as soon as possible. Hopefully, you have a reasonable excuse for missing your court date.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    Contact the clerk of the court to see what your options are for obtaining a new court date.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You need to go into court and quash the warrant. Call the court clerk and ask them when / how to do this.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    Hire an attorney to see if the court will withdraw the bench warrant for your arrest. Otherwise, turn yourself in to the jail.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Go to court before you are arrested.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Flores & Lopez Law Firm
    Flores & Lopez Law Firm | Joe Lopez
    You need to contact your lawyer asap! You will get a warrant and will make it difficult to get back on the docket the longer you wait... since it was recent, you should be very easy to fix this problem... bottom line, don't wait to fix this problem.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Get to the court house ASAP. explain to the sheriff and then the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Contact the clerk of court where you missed court to see if the case can be reset or if you can go to add-on court.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Douglas Holbrook Criminal Defense Attorney
    Douglas Holbrook Criminal Defense Attorney | Douglas Holbrook
    Probably, your safest bet is to have an attorney go in and recall any warrant that has been issued. If that is not something that you can afford, then you next best option is to immediately get to court and deal with it. . If you show up tomorrow, it will still be less than a week and hopefully, the judge will excuse the failure to appear and proceed with the arraignment. Do not delay because the longer you wait, the less likely the judge will let it slide.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Talk to your lawyer promptly. It may be fixable, but it will be easier if you fix it quickly. Depending on the details, you may have to turn yourself into the jail and ask the judge to release you the next day, but your odds are pretty good.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    When you miss a court date a warrant issues for your arrest. Generally, the only way to clear a warrant is with a personal appearance. However, if the charge is only a misdemeanor then a lawyer may be able to appear for you. There is always the chance that the court will want to remand you to custody depending on how much time has passed since the missed date and why the date was missed. If the warrant is simply recalled, then the case picks up where it left off. If you have a lawyer or Public Defender then call him/her to arrange to appear on the warrant. If you don't have a lawyer, you need to show up to court in the morning and have your case added on.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    There is probably a warrant out for your arrest. You need to get an attorney to go to court to recall the warrant then address the underlying charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Contact the court clerk and say you forgot, and go in as soon as possible. Find out if there is a bond set now, and have a bondsman ready.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    A warrant was likely issued for your arrest. You should contact a criminal defense attorney in your city who can determine how much the bail is on the warrant. Then the lawyer can see if the court will consider releasing you upon your own recognizance. If you appear in court without a lawyer the court may take you into custody and set a bail amount. If that is the case you will not released from custody until you post the bail or until your next court hearing if the judge agrees at a future court hearing to release you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    The Law Office of Corey Cohen
    The Law Office of Corey Cohen | Corey Cohen
    Get a lawyer. There is probably a warrant for your arrest. A lawyer can attempt to get rid of the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    Hire an attorney. If a warrant was issued for you arrest due to your failure to appear, the attorney may be able to get the warrant recalled and vacated. The attorney may be able to defend you on the criminal charge or negotiate a plea bargain that will be to your benefit. If you are within a jurisdiction where I am licensed to practice and in a geographical area near to me I might be able to offer my services to you for a reasonable fee.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Do you have a lawyer? If so, immediately contact your lawyer and see if the court in which your case is pending has a bond forfeiture docket which might allow you to go to court late. You may have to make another bond if your has been revoked (and probably doubled.) Whatever you do, get it done immediately so you can demonstrate to the court that you are not trying to avoid answering the charge AND so you do not end up with a bail jumping charge. (If you don't have a lawyer, you need to hire one immediately to assist you in this matter.)
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Go into the court as soon as possible the sooner the better. This will minimize any repercussions.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Show up in court immediately + ask them to put the case on the docket again + quash the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Surrender yourself to the court as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    More than likely the court issued a bench warrant for your arrest. You need to get this taken care of right away or else the next time you get pulled over, you will get hauled into jail. Call the court and ask them how they want you to proceed. Some courts make you turn yourself in to the police first while others will let you come in and do a "walk through" arraignment. If you had a legitimate excuse for missing, then the judge will probably quash the warrant. If not, you could get fined or do some jail time. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. Best of everything.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    You should call an attorney and have them request that the Judge recall the warrant. You can do this yourself but you may be running the risk of being taken into custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    Call the court and let them know you want to come in and appear as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Wallin & Klarich
    Wallin & Klarich | Stephen D. Klarich
    Recall the warrant asap. Get attorney to appear with you (and maybe for you in some instances) If not, see the public defender when you get to the court where the warrant is out of. Bring bail bonds in case the judge does not release you on your own promise to appear. Have bond ready.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You need to deal with this. You have a warrant. You need an attorney. You have to get your matter put back on calendar ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Get an attorney who can get you back in court with the least amount of hassle.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    You now have a warrant for your arrest. You need to get into court and cancel the warrant so that you do not get arrested. You may want to consult an attorney before doing so.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Contact your lawyer and go back voluntarily as there is likely a bench warrant out for your arrest.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/29/2011
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