Missing a criminal court date can result in significant consequences, including jail time. If the court issues a warrant for your arrest due to a missed court date, a Summerville failure to appear lawyer may be able to help. A criminal attorney could work to help you resolve a warrant for failing to attend court as quickly as possible.
Missing a Court Date in Summerville
Once a defendant receives notice from the court or law enforcement, they are legally required to attend court dates for all criminal cases. Missing a court date is called a failure to appear.
Notice of Court Dates
A person can be given notice and required to attend a court hearing regardless of whether they were initially arrested. People often receive notice of court dates when they:
- Receive a significant traffic ticket or another citation that requires them to appear in court
- Are released on bail after an arrest
- Attend a court hearing that does not fully resolve their case
Occasionally, a person may be able to send their lawyer to court in their place, or the court may grant permission not to attend a particular hearing. However, a person should be very careful about confirming the validity of their absence.
What is a Bench Warrant?
Once a person misses a court date, the judge will likely issue a bench warrant directing police officers to arrest the person. If the individual failed to appear in a serious felony matter, the police may actively search for the person and arrest them.
In many cases, police will arrest the person the next time they interact with law enforcement. This interaction might be a simple traffic stop or an arrest for another offense. A Summerville bench warrant lawyer may be able to help a person who has missed a court date resolve the issue before an arrest occurs.
What are the Consequences for Missing a Court Hearing?
In addition to their immediate arrest, a person may be subject to other consequences for failing to appear in court. A court may impose fines under South Carolina Code of Laws §17-15-90 if it determines that a person has willfully missed a court date. Additionally, if a person released on bail fails to appear, the judge might revoke their bail. When this happens, a person may have to remain in jail until their case is over. A judge could also deny bail in the future based on a failure to appear.
Unfortunately, when the police arrest someone for failing to appear, there may be harsh consequences, even if the underlying charge was minor. A short arrest can still affect a person’s employment or their ability to care for their children. A missed court date lawyer in Summerville could minimize those consequences.
A Summerville Failure to Appear Attorney Could Be an Important Ally
Sometimes there is a valid reason for a missed court date, like an illness, family emergency, or employment obligation. A Summerville failure to appear lawyer may be able to help you address a missed court date with prosecutors or the court. Experienced legal counsel could fight to keep jail time to a minimum or avoid it altogether. Call now for representation.