Monday, March 25, 2013

Missed Your Court Hearing?


New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Your Options
Whether you intentionally chose not to attend or circumstances prevented you from arriving, the court does not accept any excuses.  You may have thought that missing the hearing would be easy to reschedule, not that big of a deal.  However, in the eyes of the court, missing a court hearing is a serious offense.  They assigned you a time to be there, and you failed to show up.  
This will most likely result in the court forfeiting your bond and issuing a warrant for your arrest.  The forfeiture of bail means that the money you pay to the court will not be returned to you.  Having a warrant out for your arrest means that you will arrested on the spot if stopped for a traffic offense, but more importantly, you can be arrested without notice at your home or place of employment.  
The court does not take this offense lightly.  If you missed a court hearing related to a DUI, then the consequences could lead to losing your license and/or driving privileges.   If you missed a family court hearing, then you would be placed in contempt of court, which means that you have not complied with the court’s timely requirements or actions; therefore, you could face a fine or even jail time.  The jail time 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 the court 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, post bail and find out what steps you need to take in order to reschedule your court hearing.  However, it is recommended that you take an attorney with you to approach the court on your behalf for missing the hearing, to get your case another court date, and to help smooth out any wrinkles caused by your delinquency in court.  Sometimes an attorney can even help get the warrant vacated, unless you have multiple missed court hearings or other multiple offenses.    
You can attempt to represent yourself, but an attorney comes to the court with a wealth of knowledge and experience which will make the process go more smoothly.  Call us today, so that we can walk you through this difficult process and help reduce the stress this is causing you.

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