If you’re supposed to show up to court and miss your date, you could face serious consequences. It’s important to comprehend the consequences of failing to show up in court in Ardmore and equally important to have a criminal defense attorney by your side. Learn more about the repercussions of ignoring a court date, and avoid making the dangerous mistake.
Are There Consequences?First, you should know that there will be consequences. When the court issues you a date, the document isn’t a request. Instead, it’s more of a direct order. They’re telling you to show up, and failing to do so comes with consequences. The court usually mails your notice to appear to the address on your court records. As a result, there’s really no excuse for missing the court date. It’s up to you to be certain your address is accurate, and you check your mail. Furthermore, it’s up to you to make sure you keep track of your court date. If you tend to forget things, don’t allow your court date to slip your mind. Write down the court date in your calendar and record it on your phone as well. Additionally, set your alarm for the morning of the court date. You should take all possible measures to remind yourself of the court date. For a simple issue, you may only need to appear once in court. An example is a traffic ticket. If you receive a traffic ticket for speeding, you probably only have one court appearance to remember. But someone who is facing criminal charges may need to make multiple appearances. You don’t get the luxury of deciding which court dates you will attend. Instead, you need to go to all of them.
What Is Failure to Appear?When someone misses a court date, they face the risk of being charged with failure to appear. Although this charge is usually a misdemeanor, it still affects you. Even worse, it could compound your problems. You’re much better off appearing for your court date the first time around. If your crime is a felony, your failure to appear becomes even more serious. Individuals with felonies who are facing failure to appear charges are subject to a Class D felony. Unlike a misdemeanor, these charges come with long-term consequences. Even if a court finds you guilty of your original crime, they will find you guilty of failure to appear. In the event that you are found guilty of the initial charges, you face additional penalties for the failure to appear. There are no circumstances under which you should skip a court date.
How It HappensEvery situation is unique. However, the way in which a judge deals with failure to appear tends to start with a judge issuing a bench warrant for the arrest of the individual. The warrant allows the police to arrest the person whenever they find them. If you’re pulled over for a minor traffic violation, the police can arrest you on the spot with the bench warrant. And you don’t need to do anything illegal to be arrested with a bench warrant. Every so often, county sheriff offices perform warrant sweeps. They take all of the active warrants and look for the people at home, work, and other inconvenient places. If the police have a bench warrant for you, there’s no telling when they will arrest you. After the police have you in custody, you need to find a lawyer in Oklahoma City. On your own, you don’t stand a chance against a judge or jury.
What Are the Consequences?Ultimately, the court decides the consequences of your actions. The minor consequences can include any of the following:
- Denying bond privileges
- Increasing the bond
- Losing the bond of own recognizance
- Suspension of the driver’s license