Everyone has missed an appointment or two in their lives. It just happens. Demanding schedules can cause dental appointments, dog-grooming appointments, and such to fall through the cracks. No big deal. Usually the office calls to reschedule and you go on, hoping you make it the next time. Missing an appointment at court is a much more serious matter!
What Happens if I Miss My Court Date?
Minor traffic violations become a big deal if you fail to appear at court on the date designated on your ticket. If you were sick, had some reasonable excuse, or simply forgot the date and did not request a change of date, the court considers it a willful violation to appear in court and will often charge you with a misdemeanor. Failure to appear can result in the following consequences:
● A $300 Civil Assessment Penalty and referral to a collection agency
● Warrant for your arrest
● Suspension of your driver's license
● Garnishment of your wages
If you have unwittingly missed your court date, or the date set to pay your fine, chances are you won't have an officer knocking at your door the next day to arrest you, but the actions mentioned above may be immediately set in place, and come to bite you in an unexpected moment. Sometimes an attorney can work on your behalf to simply get the date rescheduled, but it is important not to just ignore a missed court appearance.
How Will a Missed Court Date Affect Me?
It is important to know that the court will not call you to reschedule your court date like your dentist does for your missed appointment. Missing the payment date or the court date usually triggers an automatic response in the court system that will not stop until you get involved to resolve the case. Sometimes it may be as simple as going in and explaining the situation, paying additional fines, and going on.
If you do nothing about your missed date, and you are pulled over for a future traffic violation, you may be immediately arrested, as a warrant will be out for your arrest. Officers with your driver's license in hand will be alerted to your warrant and required to enforce the law. Missed court dates are not only far more expensive than the original ticket, but they can lead to far greater embarrassment and disruption to your schedule.
Airline flights, driver's license applications in other states, and international travel are all things that could bring up the warrant for your arrest. Once arrested, your chances of a good outcome of the case drop dramatically.
What Should I Do When I Realize I Missed the Date?
Do not make the mistake of just ignoring the missed date. The issue will grow bigger and will interrupt your life. Take immediate steps to rectify the situation. If you have proof of a reasonable excuse for missing the date such as hospital records, literature about your relative's funeral, etc, it would be good to take those documents and make a trip to see the court clerk. You must realize that if a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you make find yourself arrested as you come to explain your cause. One of the best solutions to this dilemma is enlisting the help of a qualified attorney. Often experienced attorneys can still fight and win such cases and avoid further fines and penalties.
Contact A Traffic Citation Defense Attorney
Traffic laws can be highly technical and intricate, but our experienced legal team deals with them every day. Do not let a traffic ticket make your life harder. Call Traffic Ticket Pros in Encino to speak to a lawyer who will fight for your rights. Call 818-646-7336 or send us an email to arrange a free consultation today.