Occasionally, I get a panicked phone call from someone who has missed a court date. Sometimes the person honestly forgot. Other times, an unexpected emergency caused a problem. I have even spoken to defendants who were just too scared to go to court.
When a person misses court, the judge typically issues an arrest warrant. The judge then sets a bond, the amount of which typically depends on the seriousness of the crime. Once a person is arrested, they must post that bond prior to being released from jail.
If you have missed a court date, call a criminal defense lawyer. Often, that lawyer has solutions. Some judges will recall, or set aside the warrant and simply assign a new court date. Other judges have specific dockets when you can “turn yourself in” instead of being arrested.
The worst thing you can do is to ignore the missed date. Doing this is stressful because you continue to worry about the situation. Furthermore, it signals to the Court that you are not serious about addressing the matter.
Chad Gaddie is a criminal defense attorney that has been practicing in Northwest Missouri for nearly 20 years.