Maybe you overslept, got your court date confused, or you simply forgot, either way you missed your court date. What happens will likely depend on the type of case. For example, if you have a simple traffic case then the parties will likely try the case in your absence and you will be found “guilty in absentia.” The consequences could range from a small fine to suspension of your license. Less frequently, the court may continue the case to another date. If the case is heard without you present, you have two options:
- Appeal the case within 10 calendar days of your conviction. The circuit court will hear the case “de novo” which means brand new or starting from the beginning. Be very careful not to miss the 10 day window because once it passes, you can no longer appeal.
- Another option is to file a Motion to Rehear within 60 calendar days of conviction. Granting such a motion is entirely in the discretion of the judge, and these motions are frequently denied.
If you missed your court date and you are charged with an offense that carries jail time the court may issue a Show Cause Order or Capias for your arrest. If this is the case, your best option is to speak with an attorney who can guide you through the process. For example, depending on the circumstances, your attorney may be able to file a Motion to Withdraw the Bench Warrant or Failure to Appear Warrant. Either way, you will want to consult with an attorney about the ramifications and consequences of a Capias or Show Cause Order and how to move forward.
Contact us at Holcomb Law to schedule your “Legal Strategy Meeting,” at which our criminal defense lawyer will answer ALL your questions and show you your options.