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What Should I Do If I Missed My Court Date?

Criminal Defense

Failure to appear in court when you have a scheduled hearing after being charged with a crime is serious and requires immediate action. Here’s what you should know and how to get the help you need. 

You’ve Missed Your Court Appearance — Now What? 

If you didn’t show up to your court date, there are some things you should and shouldn’t do: 

Actions to Take Now 

  • Act as soon as possible following your missed court date. Do not delay any longer than absolutely necessary given your situation. 
  • Contact an attorney. Your lawyer can reach out to the court on your behalf to explain your circumstances. 

Actions to Avoid 

  • Not showing up to future court appearances. If you’ve missed a court date, it’s extremely important that you make it to all future hearings. 
  • Lying about why you missed your court date. Even if it makes you look bad, you should tell the truth about why you were not able to make it to court at the appointed time. 

What to Expect After Missing Your Court Date 

Potential penalties for missing a scheduled court appearance may include but are not limited to the: 

Revocation of Your Bond 

Your bond may be increased after missing a court date because you are considered a higher flight risk, or your bond may be revoked entirely. This means you will be in custody until your next hearing. Typically, these measures are taken by the court when a judge considers your missed appearance willful. 

Issuance of a Warrant 

Usually, a bench warrant will immediately be issued after someone misses their court date. Depending on the crime for which the defendant is on trial, however, an active warrant may be issued. Generally, this is in the case of violent crimes where the defendant is believed to be a danger to the public. 

Addition of More Criminal Charges 

The judge may decide it appropriate to charge you with failure to appear, which is generally a misdemeanor. The penalties for this offense would then be tacked on to those for the other offenses you are charged with if you’re convicted. If not, you would still be liable for the charge of failing to appear. 

How a Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help After Missing Your Court Date 

Acting quickly after missing a court hearing, whether intentional or not, is of the utmost importance. Contact Richard B. Huttner today for a consultation by calling 303-595-4342.

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