Monday, March 4, 2013

I've Missed My Court Hearing? How Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me

Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Eric Kay Explains What to Do if You Miss Your Court Date

You missed your court hearing. Maybe you were mistaken as to the date. Maybe you couldn't get the time off work, or maybe you had planned to attend but one of your children got sick. Or you simply didn't think it was a big deal to miss. Whether intentional or circumstantial, the court does not tolerate absences. As far as the sitting judge is concerned, you were ordered to appear, and you failed to do so.

The reality is:  Missing a court hearing is a serious offense in the eyes of the court, and will most likely result in the court forfeiting your bond and issuing a warrant for your arrest.  The forfeiture of bail means that any money paid to secure your release will not be returned to you.  Having a warrant out for your arrest guarantees that you will be arrested on the spot if stopped for a traffic offense, or if you have any unplanned contact with law enforcement; more importantly, you can be arrested without advance notice either at your home or place of employment.  

The court does not take this offense lightly.  

  • If you missed a court hearing related to a criminal traffic matter, then the consequences could lead to losing your license and/or driving privileges.   
  • If you missed a family court hearing, then you could be placed in contempt of court, which means that you have not complied with the court’s orders or requirements; therefore, you could face a fine or even jail time.  

One factor the court may consider in how much jail time to issue could be related to how long you remain in contempt of court, so the best thing to do is to resolve the issue in a timely manner.

Here’s what you can do to avoid the hassle and embarrassment of being in such situations.

The first step you should take is to call your criminal law attorney or the clerk of courts for the jurisdiction that your case is pending in and find out if a warrant has been issued.  If this is the case, you have two options.  

  • The first is to go to the court and turn yourself in. You may or may not be given bail or pretrial release options at that time.  Your matter would then be rescheduled, but you may be forced to sit in jail until the time of your next hearing if no bond is issued.
  • The second option is to hire an attorney to approach the court on your behalf for missing the hearing.  
A criminal law attorney can coordinate your surrender and argue the circumstances for your release all in one hearing, which often results in a reinstatement or reissuance of bond, either of which would effectively keep you out of jail while your case is pending.  The likelihood of success is reduced however, if you have a history of multiple missed court hearings or failures to appear.    

You can attempt to represent yourself, but a criminal law attorney comes to the court with a wealth of knowledge and experience as to the legal standards that the court will consider in deciding whether to apply leniency and allow for your continued release. This will make the process go more smoothly and give you the best chance at success.  

Call us today, so that we can walk you through this difficult process and help reduce the stress of this difficult situation.


  1. There is very nice point that is mentioned in this post about what are the consequence for missing a Court Hearing. As per the rule this is totally not entertained and you must find yourself in Trouble but a good criminal might find you a way with his skills so in such case i would recommend you to hire a good criminal lawyer.

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  2. Well this is very knowledgeable post.I think hiring a Criminal Attorney Miami is better option to get yourself out of trouble regarding missed court hearing.

  3. Thank you for sharing the information. I got a lot of knowledge from this blog. With this information it would be easy for me to attend my sessions in the court.
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