What Happens If I Miss My Court Date?


Quick Answer

Missing a court date is a violation of the law and can result in a bench warrant for arrest, fines and the loss of driving privileges, according to the Legal Aid Society and Superior Court of California. Making prompt contact with an attorney and bringing any appropriate papers that explain the absence to court are recommended courses of action after missing a court date, according to the Legal Aid Society.

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What Happens If I Miss My Court Date?
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Full Answer

If it has been a short period of time since the missed court date, contact the court directly to clear up a warrant, according to Legal Aid Society. For longer periods after missing a court date and with both misdemeanor and felony cases, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to avoid possible arrest. An attorney can provide advice regarding what documents are needed, what to expect in court and surrendering to a warrant in court.

In some cases, courts continue a trial with the accused in absentia, in which case there is no opportunity for a defense of the action, according to the Superior Court of California. In all cases, financial ramifications are present, including additional court fees and referral of the account to collections after 14 days.

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