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What happens if I missed my court date?

Posted by Allison Blackwelder | Dec 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

If you miss a court date, you may be convicted of the charges against you or even eligible to be arrested again.

If you hired an attorney to represent you, the consequences below are not likely to apply to you. But for those that missed a date in court and wonder what will happened or what they need to do next, the consequences for missing different types of court appearances are detailed below:

Traffic Ticket (i.e. Speeding, traffic light, stop sign, reckless driving, etc.):
The court date for your traffic ticket is listed on the citation.  This is your trial date and your case will be resolved in court on that date whether you are there or not. If you did not appear in court that day, you were likely found guilty of the infraction in your absence and owe a fine to the court.  Furthermore, your license may have points and your insurance premiums are likely to increase.  This is true for SC and out-of-state drivers.  In some circumstances, your case may have been continued, but this is rare.  You may be able to contact an attorney after your court date to reverse these adverse effects, but time is of the essence.  

Misdemeanor in Municipal or Magistrate Court (Simple possession, DUI, disorderly conduct, etc.)
The court date for your charges is listed on the citation.  This is your trial date and your case will be resolved in court on that date whether you are there or not.  If you did not appear in court that day, you were likely found guilty of the charges, owe a fine to the court, and have a misdemeanor charge listed on your criminal record.  You may even have been sentenced to serve a minor jail sentence.  In some circumstances, your case may have been continued, but this is rare.  You may be able to contact an attorney after your court date to reverse these adverse effects, but time is of the essence.  

Initial and Docket Appearances (Felony Charges in General Sessions Court):
Initial and Docket appearance dates are often listed on the paperwork you receive when you leave the jailhouse after your arrest and bond hearing.  These dates are roll calls to ensure that you have not violated your bond conditions and that you are taking proactive steps to hire an attorney to represent you.  If you do not appear, the judge presiding will likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest.  You should contact your attorney or an attorney as soon as possible to represent you if you believe that you have missed an appearance date.

Court appearances are important.  If you miss them, you could be convicted without the chance to fight your charges.  You may even be arrested again (bench warrant).

Blackwelder Law encourages you to hire an attorney PRIOR to your court date.  Nevertheless, we invite you to contact us if you have missed a court date for a free consultation today.

About the Author

Allison Blackwelder

Allison (Alli) Blackwelder was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina where she learned the value of working hard to serve others in her community. She attended Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and minor in Religion in 2010.  

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Blackwelder Law represents clients from around the country and practices in court rooms throughout the state of South Carolina. Because we understand that every prospective client may not be able to travel to South Carolina, Blackwelder Law encourages prospective clients to contact us about a free initial consultation today.

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York, South Carolina 29745
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