Missing a court date can have serious consequences. Especially if you were out on bail, you could face charges of bail jumping and wind up back in jail with a new charge. If you missed your court date, it is important that you act quickly to remedy the situation.
What Happens When You Miss Court?
Chances are, you received notice from the court or your attorney of an upcoming court date. Some bondsman also contact clients to ensure that they are aware of the scheduled appearance. However, some people still miss the date.
If you do, it is likely that the judge in your case will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and recall the bail. When this happens, you could be arrested at anytime. It also makes it more difficult for you to bail out in the future.
Bail jumping is a crime in every state. In some states, it is classified as a felony. If that happens, you could be facing jail time and additional fines. If you are granted bail again, the amount that you need to pay will be much higher.
It is important that you act quickly when you realize you missed a court date. The longer you do not act, the more it looks like you were attempting to skip out completely. As a result, the judge and prosecutor in the original case could be less willing to show leniency.
What Can You Do?
One of the first steps you need to take is to contact the bail bondsman. You want to reassure the bondsman that you did not intentionally miss the court date.
You also need to contact your attorney. He or she can contact the prosecutor and judge in the case and possibly work out an agreement in which you turn yourself into jail and be allowed to bail out again.
If you had a good reason for missing the court date, such as if you were hospitalized, the judge and prosecutor might agree that the charge can be dropped. But you will still need to work out an arrangement with the bondsman to cover the original bond agreement.
It is possible that the bondsman might require that a new bond is issued. If so, you could be required to pay more to be released. If that is the case, try to have the funds available to pay the new bond before turning yourself into jail.
For more information and options, talk with a bail bonds company or visit the webpages of local companies that deal with bail.