What will happen if someone did not show up to their court date? 4 Answers as of June 23, 2011

If a person who is charged with a felony of theft but is offered a deal of pleading guilty and in exchange for pleading guilty gets a misdemeanor but failed to show up for his trial date, does the court have the ability to charge that person with a felony then?

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Andersen Law PLLC
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
The court can only charge a person with contempt of court. Otherwise, it is the prosecutor or District Attorney who has the authority to file and dismiss charges. If the person who failed to appear in court for the change of plea hearing, the prosecutor can revoke the plea deal and add the charge of Bail Jumping. How things go from here will depend a lot on what the defendant does next. Were I in his or her shoes, I would contact the court to find out the procedure for getting a warrant quashed. I would also contact the prosecutor to see about getting the change of plea set back on the calendar for plea. Hopefully, I would have a real good explanation for why I blew off a court date and I could preserve the plea deal without the prosecutor adding Bail Jumping. If the defendant's illegal behavior stems from drugs or alcohol, I would get a substance abuse evaluation and get myself into treatment ASAP. Apart from that I would be super respectful to the prosecutor and the court and I would make absolutely sure to be at the new court date come hell or high water. I would also apologize to the prosecutor and judge for missing the first court date and I would have a damned good explanation for blowing them off.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/23/2011
Law Office of Andrew Subin
Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
Yes. If he failed to show up, the deal is off. He may be able to get the same deal back again, but maybe not.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/23/2011
Law Office of James A Schoenberger
Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
In Washington if you do not show up for a court date, it is likely a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. You must set a "quash" date to quash toe issuance of the warrant. The court is not involved in any plea bargaining and it is up to the prosecution whether they will continue to offer you a misdemeanor after you failed to appear.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/22/2011
Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
Based on your brief description, you could be charged with bail jumping and the prosecutor can withdraw their settlement offer.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/22/2011
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