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I missed my (criminal) court date! What do I do?

You’re going about your day and suddenly realize that you were supposed to be in court. Last week. You thought it was next week, but it was actually last week. Oh no! What do I do!?

First, understand that you are in default and a warrant has likely been issued for your arrest. If you are stopped by police, for something as simple as a motor vehicle infraction, you will be taken into custody and transported to Court. The police may also appear on your door step to retrieve you for Court. At any moment, and at usually a rather inconvenient moment, you will be taken and brought to Court.

Second, you call your attorney. S/he will tell you the best time of day to go to the Court. S/he will give you available dates on which you can meet him/her there. S/he will tell you what you can expect to happen when you go to that specific Court. S/he may even be in a position to meet you there or call ahead to assist you. If you do not have an attorney, now is the time to get one. It could be the difference between you walking out the door or staying in the custody of the Court.

Next, go to Court. The worst thing that you can do is ignore the default. Often clients tell me that they are afraid to face the Court once they have missed their date. It is always better for you to walk into the Court to clear the default than for the police to arrest you and bring you there. Go. Do not wait.

What happens in Court truly depends on your circumstances, which is why it is important to consult and/or retain counsel. An attorney will make suggestions for what to do and what to bring with you. It is always a good idea to hire an attorney that appears often in that Court and knows the practices of the Judges for such issues.

Contact me for a consultation.  We will sit down and work out a plan together.   We will work together NOW to clear your default!

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