If I got a summons for selling beer at a concert and didn’t appear at a compliance hearing because I never received a notice, what do I do?

I appeared in court and then received a fine of roughly $500. I sent the check in and received it back 2 months later with a warrant notice. It said that I failed to appear to a compliance hearing, one that I never was informed of. What do I do? I’m not a criminal, just a broke fresh out of college kid looking for a job, with no criminal history, that isn’t excited for this to be on his record or to lose jobs over. I feel I am in a corner and this mix up will affect everything I’ve worked very hard for, apparent for the remainder of my life.

Asked on November 13, 2012 under Criminal Law, Connecticut


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Sounds like someone mixed up the process or the court did. Here is what you need to do and there is just no other way around it now...you need to hire an attorney, period. You need to have her or him unravel this mess and a) get the original fine paid, b) figure out whether you needed a compliance hearing or if the court did away with this by your fine payment and c) see if all of this could be expunged or sealed off your record. Be prepared to show how you contribute to society, the grades you got in college and what else you do to show you are a good person. This will enable your lawyer to advocate alternatives for you so that it does not impact your future job prospects.

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