You should do everything possible to make it to your court date. Missing court can cause even worse problems. In many cases, a judge will issue a bench warrant when you miss a court date, which is also called failure to appear. When this happens, know your rights and what to do next.
What Is a Bench Warrant for Arrest?
A bench warrant is an arrest request the judge signs when you miss a court date. Unless you contact the court to explain your reasons or otherwise plead for a recall of the warrant, you can be arrested at any time. In fact, you could be arrested during a traffic stop or during any other interaction with police where they might check active warrants.
You will receive a physical copy of the bench warrant in the mail. Therefore, you don’t have to wonder if you have one of these out for you. When you do get a bench warrant, you have options to rectify the situation.
First, you can return to court on your own to try to plead for a recall. The other option is to wait for police to arrest you. If this happens, though, you may spend the entire time until your next court date in jail without the option to leave. Therefore, going back to court may be a better option.
What Happens When You Go Back to Court?
If you choose to return to the court that issued the bench warrant, you should have your lawyer with you to help with the process. You should contact the court ahead of time to let them know that you will appear. When you arrive, you will have the chance to explain to the judge why you missed your original court date. If the judge accepts your reason, they may recall the bench warrant and reset the court date. If the judge does not accept your reason, they have discretion for how to assess a penalty against you, which may include a fine. However, if you miss the second date, your only option is arrest.
Contact The Law Office of Steven K. Bloom for Help If You Miss a Court Date
As with all legal matters, you should not handle them on your own. Contact us at The Law Office of Steven K. Bloom for help with your legal case or if you miss a court date. Through his years of experience and efforts working for his clients, Steven Bloom will work hard to help you.