July 28, 2017
What Happens When You Don't Show Up to Court?
Individuals failing to appear is something that is somewhat common. Most often, this happens on the first court appearance. If you don’t hire a lawyer quickly (or if your lawyer doesn’t properly notify the court) the bondsmen are supposed to notify you after charges are filed and you have a court date. Most of the time they do this, but not always. Sometimes the notice may get sent to the wrong address if you’ve moved.
Failed Court Appearance
Not appearing in court results in a forfeit of your bond and a warrant for your arrest is issued. This means you will be re-arrested and you will have to bond again probably at a much higher amount. Most times the police will actively try to arrest you by going to your known residences and workplaces. If they can’t locate you the warrant will show up during a records check if you are stopped for any reason.
Withdrawal of Warrant
Since most of the time failure appear happens because of some error, your attorney can go to a judge and convince them to withdraw the warrant. This is successful most of the time — just don’t miss the next court date!
In addition to forfeiting your bond, there might also be a separate charge for not showing up to court. The prosecutor could choose to file a new charge for your failure to appear; if the original offense was a misdemeanor, the new charge will be a felony. The new bond will be set for the new charge, and you can expect it to be pretty high. However, prosecutors usually don’t file a new charge unless the failure to appear is flagrant.
Although going to court and facing punishment isn’t fun, it must be done. getting it over with is the best way to address the situation and not gather any extra charges.