If you missed your court date, you should call the court as soon as possible to explain your absence and offer to appear in court immediately. If you wait to contact the court, you could be facing a warrant and additional charges.
After missing your court date, you also may want to call a criminal defense attorney. Law enforcement and prosecutors are more likely to believe your promise to appear in court as soon as possible when your lawyer guarantees you will make an appearance. Our Dallas criminal defense attorneys can help you deal with the consequences of this error.
It Does Not Matter Why You Missed Your Court Date
Courts and prosecutors do not care why you missed your court hearing. You may think you have a valid excuse for not making a scheduled court appearance, but authorities will rarely agree with you.
Having a flat tire or not being able to miss work are not valid excuses in the court’s eyes. Prosecutors and court officials expect you to make the arrangements you need to make well in advance so that you can attend your scheduled hearing without having a last-minute snag derail your appearance.
When our criminal defense lawyers represent you, we will take steps to ensure you do not miss your court hearing. If you are having trouble finding a way to make the court date work, we can help.
Plan Ahead of Time
When you do not show up at the scheduled time, it wastes the court’s time. Legal officials set aside a certain time for your case, and part of dealing with the charges you are facing is making sure you appear on time.
If you believe you can’t make a scheduled court appearance, ask the court to reschedule your hearing time and date. The court may or may not grant this request, but it is far better to ask several days ahead if you need a change than not show up at the scheduled time.
What Options do I Have If I Think I will Miss My Court Date?
Our criminal defense attorneys can help you come up with some strategies that will fit your situation if you believe you will miss a court date.
Plead no Contest or Guilty
Depending on the type of criminal charge you are facing, you may be able to plead guilty or no contest ahead of the court date, which would negate the need for a court hearing.
For a traffic ticket or a criminal citation in Dallas, you often can choose to pay the citation in person, by mail, or online, which equates to a no contest or guilty plea. You also can ask the court to create a payment plan for you.
Request an Appearance By Telephone or Video Call
Depending on the court, the type of charge, and the circumstances, you might be able to make your court appearance by telephone or by video call.
Although some use this option during the COVID-19 pandemic, courts do not have to grant you this request. Our defense attorneys can help you determine if you can make a telephone appearance.
Have Your Attorney Appear for You
Depending on the type of charge and criminal hearing you have, our criminal defense lawyer may be able to appear on your behalf.
When we represent you in your criminal case, we will advise you on which types of hearings you need to attend in person and when we can appear on your behalf.
Consequences of Missing a Court Date in Texas
If you miss your court date, the court will likely issue a failure to appear warrant for you. Two things commonly happen after the court issues such a warrant:
- You could receive a new charge of either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on your initial charge.
- A law enforcement officer can arrest you on sight, whether that is during a traffic stop, at home, at work, or in another location.
Warrants cause serious problems. They stay on your record until you take care of them, whether that is a few days or years later. You also could face jail time, fines, and authorities could suspend your driver’s license.
Avoiding a Missed Court Date Will Not Help Your Situation
It may be tempting to ignore your missed court date, hoping that things will just resolve themselves. However, this is not going to happen. Instead, missing a court hearing leads to more problems and potentially more charges.
Consider hiring the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg to represent you during your criminal case. We will help you if you missed a court date, and we will do everything we can to ensure you never miss another one. Call us at (214) 696-9253 today to review your case during a free consultation.