What happens if you fail to appear on your court date for a traffic ticket? In most cases the offender is sent to jail without having to pay additional fines. Many times this does not seem to be an option. You have a few options if you fail to appear in court for your traffic ticket.
The first thing you can do is try to figure out a way to make yourself appear in court on your own accord. Many states allow you to make an appearance at your own scheduled court date for a traffic ticket by simply showing up on the scheduled day. Sometimes this option is granted to people who do not have the money to pay the additional fines due and have not been convicted of speeding. Even then, however, you may be asked to come to court without any kind of valid excuse for missing your court date.
In these cases it is often necessary for defendants to hire criminal defense lawyers to help them mount a good enough defense in their absence. Criminal defense lawyers will try several different strategies to make sure they can get the maximum possible sentence for their client. Many times a judge will give a small break for a defendant that shows up to court on their own accord and doesn’t have the money to hire a private attorney. This is especially true if the offense was one of minor driving infractions.
Some states allow defendants to make an “abbreviation” error when they are given their official notice of a pending court appearance. These errors are considered a “defense mistake” and are not allowed in most traffic courts. For example, some jurisdictions require about to inform the clerk that a defendant has an abboud. In other states, the clerk may require the about to sign an affadavit rather than submitting the correct form. Both of these types of mistakes can lead to a longer court appearance or criminal charges.
A bench warrant is another reason that a defendant might need to show up in court for their traffic offense. A bench warrant simply means that the state has filed an arrest warrant or bench warrant against the person. The warrant usually refers to a specific crime that the person is suspected of committing. Traffic offenses are not the only criminal offenses that can create warrants. There are a number of reasons that an arrest warrant can be issued.
If you were caught speeding and did not have your proper driver’s license, this could lead to a bench warrant for your arrest. The same goes for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Many times innocent people are put in jail because they did not show up for their court date. If you receive a traffic ticket in any of these cases, it is very important that you are aware of what will happen if you fail to appear. Your criminal case may be delayed or worse, you could receive a bench warrant for your failure to appear.