Missed Your Court Date? How You Can Make Things Right
Maybe you lost track of your dates, or perhaps you were unable to make the necessary arrangements for your family or work responsibilities. Regardless of the reason, missing a court date can have severe implications. Here is what you can expect after you miss a court appearance.
The Judge Can Issue New Charges and/or Revoke Your Bail
Your judge may decide to revoke your bail or increase the amount of your bail. Bail is an instrument designed to ensure that defendants appear in court. By missing your court date, you demonstrate to the judge that bail is not a sufficient measure to guarantee your appearance in court.
Your Bail Bondsman Will Start Searching for You
Many individuals use a bail bond to cover their bail in order to minimize the financial ramifications of an arrest. It is common for another individual to co-sign your bail bond. Once you miss court, your bail bondsman will try to locate you.
If your bail bondsman can easily locate you, you can explain that missing your court date was an oversight on your part. However, if your bail bond company cannot locate you, it will contact the co-signer of your bail bond for information regarding your whereabouts. Hiring a bounty hunter to track you down is typically a last resort that the bail bondsman will not explore until all other avenues are exhausted.
Some bail bondsmen require that you or your loved one put up a form of collateral to secure your bail bond. Common forms of collateral include homes, vehicles, and recreational vehicles. If your bail bondsman cannot locate you, it reserves the right to seize the collateral to cover the money posted for your bail.
What You Should Do If You District Does Not Offer a Grace Period or If You are Passed the Grace Period
Even if the grace period is over, you should still take action as soon as possible. At this point, you may have a warrant for your arrest. Contact your attorney or public defender to explore your options. In many situations, it is better if you turn yourself into the police rather than waiting for the police to find you.
If circumstances out of your control prevented you from attending your court date, tell your attorney. Your attorney can use this information to try to get new charges related to your failure to appear dismissed.
You also need to call your bail bondsman. If your bail bond company knows that you have not completely skipped bail, it is more likely to post your bail on any new charges or to increase the amount of your bond to account for an increase in your bail.
Need to post bail for a friend or family member? Call Absolute Bail Bonds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get started.