What to do if I missed my court date?

I’ve overlooked a court dated in which I believed was scheduled for the 4th of next month. However, when I called the court to confirm my court date, I found out that it had already past; it was the 2nd of last month. I am now being charged with failure to appear and a warrant has been issued for my arrest with a $500 fee. How may I clear the warrent without being arrested?

Asked on February 22, 2013 under Criminal Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You need to contact the court in question ASAP. Warrants don't expire and you can be picked up at anytime for this; if nothing else it will show up in a background check for employment or the like. Your best bet is to hire an attorney that is familar with the court; they can use their local contacts to your best advanatge. If you cannot afford an attorney, you will need to turn yourself in and appeal to the mercy of the court. Depending on the charges involved, the judge and your reason (in your case not a particularly good one), you may or may not get jail time.

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