What to do When You are Unable to Appear in Court

Man getting arrested

Given the current climate of health concerns and courthouse closures, there is a lot of concern with what happens if you can’t go to court when you are supposed to. As mentioned previously, failing to appear on a ticket can lead to additional fines and suspension of your Driver’s License. In the case of criminal matters, failing to appear in court will lead to the issuance of a warrant for your immediate arrest.

First and foremost, if there is a courthouse closure when you are supposed to appear in court, your case may have already been continued and notice from the Court may not have arrived yet. You may want to call the courthouse to find out what has happened to your case.

But what if you have a previously scheduled Vacation? Work? School? Live elsewhere?

When you sign your ticket, you sign a promise to appear in court and you are expected to appear in court by the date on the ticket. Most counties allow for extensions before you must appear, but any new date given will become your new date on which you promise to appear.

There are a few options for you if you are unable to personally attend your day in court, but don’t want a failure to appear and additional fines or a warrant to be added.

  1. Hire an attorney

Generally, hiring an attorney to appear for you will afford you the opportunity to skip that court date. In many cases an attorney can appear on your behalf and represent your interests in Court. You may want to consult your attorney first, because there are always exceptions where you may still need to attend.

  1. Trial by Written Declaration

If done timely and properly, a TWD will allow you to still allow you to defend your case without appearing in court. We have already written a post for TWD if you want more information on this route.

  1. Pay the ticket early

Your case will close if you decide to pay the ticket off or take traffic school before the complete date on your ticket. Be warned though, if you ticket has moving violations, paying off the ticket will add points to your driving record.

If you are concerned that you will miss a court date, contact us at RPM Law. We are in constant communication with the courts and can get extensions for you to appear on your case. If you believe you may have already missed a court date, we will do what is necessary to get your license back and try to lessen those fines.