If I missed my court date what do I do?

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If I missed my court date what do I do?

I missed my court date on a misdemeanor animal cruelity charge.

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Contact the clerk of the court, explain what happened, and ask what to do. If you had a good--and we mean *good* excuse--such as, for example, stranded elsewhere because flights were cancelled; a medical emergency (yours or a family member's); a conflict with another court date; etc. (something truly beyond your control), you *may* be able to get a new date. If you don't have a good excuse or the court is not sympathetic (this is subject to court discretion), then you will have to put up with the consequences, which presumably means either being found guilty and/or sufferinig some contempt of court for not showing up. When you contact the court, be humble and self-effacing and apologetic; that works much better than coming on strong and trying to assert your "rights."


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