What Do I Do If I Forgot My Court Date?

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A person who misses a court date needs to contact his attorney immediately, according to the Criminal Defense Lawyer website. Forgetting a court date has serious consequences. In the case of criminal or traffic charges, this can result in the judge issuing a bench warrant for the offender's arrest. The lawyer is often able to arrange for the defendant to take care of the issue without going to jail.

A bench warrant is an order for law enforcement authorities to arrest an individual and bring him to court. The officials can make the arrest at the individual's place of employment or home. If he appears in court on another matter, an officer can arrest him there. If an officer stops a person with a bench warrant for a minor traffic issue, the officer can arrest him immediately. According to Criminal Defense Lawyer, once an individual is arrested on a bench warrant, he is held in jail until the court hears the case or sets the bond amount and the individual pays it.

If the missed date was for a civil case, the court enters a judgment by default. If the individual has a good reason for missing the court date, it is possible to file a motion to vacate the judgment with the court. If the judge vacates the judgment, a new trial may occur immediately, according to Virtual Self-Help Law Center.