What Is the Penalty for Missing a Court Date?

By Cindi Pearce
What Is the Penalty for Missing a Court Date?

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The best advice is not to miss your court date but, if you do, expect some repercussions.

Warrants

The judge can, and very well may, issue a warrant for your arrest. The judge can also remove (forfeit) your bond. The county gets your money and you will never get it back.

Contact

Call the court; call your attorney. You need to appear in front of the judge, preferably with an attorney, and explain why you missed your court appearance. Ask if the judge will remove or quash the warrant for your arrest and reinstate your bond. If the judge agrees to this and you miss a second court date you are headed for jail.

Process

If you never show up for your court date and are subsequently arrested, stopped or pulled over on another matter and the law enforcement officer realizes there is a warrant for your arrest for non-appearance, you will go directly to jail. You will not get bond.

Medical Excuse

If you missed your court date because of an injury or illness, get a note from your doctor.

Warning

Do not assume your missed court date will be overlooked. It won't. Deal with it. Don't ignore it. This situation is not going away on its own.

About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.

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