If you miss a court date, the odds are that a judge will issue a warrant. However, there are often things a defendant can do to reduce her risk of getting a warrant or increase the odds that the warrant will be quashed quickly.
How Can You Help Yourself?
1. If the date has not passed, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in the town or county where you are expected in court. A local attorney will not only be able to advise how the hearing might go but also, in many cases, appear on your behalf if it is impossible for you to attend.
2. If you are active duty military and deployed, get a copy of your deployment papers to a friend or relative who is willing to hire an attorney on your behalf. The attorney can appear on the scheduled date and get you a new date reassigned.
3. If your hearing is due to a compliance issue, get yourself in compliance prior to the hearing. For example, pay your fines, file your required treatment report, get a clean UA or whatever else is creating the noncompliance status. If you missed the hearing, get in compliance immediately thereafter because a judge is more likely to to quash a warrant for someone who is back in compliance.
You Must Get Advice From An Attorney In The Area You Have Court
None of the above information should be construed as legal advice since every criminal case is so unique. Additionally, every local jurisdiction has unique rules and customs that could dictate the result of missing a court hearing. Regardless of where you are, missing court is never a good idea.
Do Not Delay In Calling
Law firms do not operate like drive thru restaurants. Do not expect “instant attorney” for your issue. If your hearing is Monday afternoon at 1:30, do not expect to get help if you start calling at noon on that same Monday. For an attorney to appear, you will need to sign a fee agreement and the attorney files a document called a Notice of Appearance. These things can take time. Do not put yourself in a bad spot by waiting until the last minute.
Do Not Waste Time By Calling Attorneys Outside Of The Local Area Where You Have Court
If you have messed up or fear that you might miss court, do not delay in reaching out to an attorney in the state and local jurisdiction where you are supposed to appear. It is pointless to call an attorney in Texas if your case is in Washington. Attorneys are licensed to practice in a specific state and are not allowed to give any advice on matters in a state where they are not licensed. You are wasting their time and yours to call around randomly for advice. For example, if your case in Bremerton Municipal Court, you should search for “criminal defense attorneys in Bremerton Washington” if you want proper guidance.
If you have a criminal defense issue in Kitsap, Pierce, or Thurston counties or cities within those counties, you can reach our firm at (360) 792-1000. We have offices in Bremerton, Gig Harbor, and Poulsbo. We can also handle your representation over the phone or zoom. And, depending on the nature of your criminal charge, you may never need to step foot in the state or courtroom.