If You Miss A Court Date, Hire a Toms River Lawyer
A question lawyers often receive is “What happens if I don’t show up for a court date?” And like most questions in law, the answer is “it depends.” Your violation, situation, and frequency of missed court dates all affect the outcome of your sentence. Regardless of these factors, you should consult with a Toms River Lawyer.
Those with parking ticket offenses are the most likely to ask about the consequences of missing a court date. Because they perceive their violation as insignificant, they often assume that failing to show up is also inconsequential. If the first court date for a parking violation is missed, typically the judge will be lenient and set a new court date. However, the judge may suspend a defendant’s driving privileges until they appear at the second court date. If you miss court a second time, it is likely that the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. If there is a warrant out for your arrest, contact a Toms River lawyer immediately.
Municipal Court Failure to Appear
For violations that are more serious than parking tickets, a judge is likely to issue a warrant after the first missed court date. When a defendant is brought in on that warrant, they need to provide a reason for their absence. If the defendant had a valid emergency, they can avoid extra fines.
When brought in on a warrant, the defendant is required to pay bail in order to be released from jail. If they are unable to make bail, the defendant will remain incarcerated until their court date. If bail is met, the judge can decide to forfeit a defendant’s bail. This means the defendant does not get their bail money back after the matter is settled.
Driving privileges may also be suspended as a result of failure to appear in court. This means the defendant will be unable to drive for the designated period of time set forth by the judge. They will then be required to pay a restoration fee to the Commission of Motor Vehicles in order to get their license reinstated.
If you hire a good Toms River lawyer before you miss your scheduled court date, have them discuss your absence with the court. This way, a judge will be more hesitant to issue a warrant for arrest. If the you hire a lawyer after a judge issues a warrant, they may be able to get the warrant retracted.
Superior Court Failure to Appear
Failing to appear at superior court is significantly more serious. Judges are less likely to let a missed court date go unpunished. If a defendant has a valid reason to miss court, they are required to provide documentation proving their claim. When a judge issues a warrant for a missed court date, a Toms River lawyer will typically arrange a date for the defendant to turn themselves in. This shows a willingness to comply with the court voluntarily.
If a defendant continues to miss court without a legitimate excuse, the prosecutor could charge the defendant with bail jumping. This is where failing to appear becomes a serious offense. Bail jumping is a third-degree indictable offense, punishable with up to a five-year prison sentence. A judge can also issue a contempt of court sanction which results in additional time and monetary fees.
Retaining a Toms River Lawyer
No matter the severity of the crime, defendants should retain a Toms River lawyer for legal counsel and representation. Thomas V Campo is a criminal and municipal defense attorney who has practiced in the state of New Jersey since 1993. He has expert knowledge in a wide array of traffic and criminal offenses including driving while intoxicated, drug distribution and possession, as well as aggravated assault. If you have been charged with a crime and missed or think you may miss the court date, contact Thomas V Campo immediately.