What Happens If You Skip Court

picture of man in jail after missing court

There are many reasons the law may summon a person to court. When this happens, it is that person’s responsibility to go to court on the date and at the time specified in the court order. Failure to appear at court can result in extra charges, fines, and possibly jail time. To avoid these consequences, one should always meet their court dates. However, everything does not always go as planned, and on some occasions a person may miss or skip their court date. This may or may not be unintentional, but if a person finds they’re are in that position, legal assistance is always available.

In one possible scenario, police have arrested and booked a man into jail. The court then granted that man bail. The man, who would be a defendant in that case, was not able to afford the bail, so he enlisted the help of a bail bond agent to bail him out. While doing so, the defendant used his car as collateral to cover the cost of the bail. The judge ordered that the defendant return to court in seven days. This court date would decide whether or not the defendant was guilty or innocent. If the defendant failed to show, his bail would be forfeited, and the bail bond agency would take possession of his car to cover the cost of the bail.

While out on bail, the defendant believed he was innocent of the alleged crime, and decided there was no reason to return to court. However, the defendant’s innocence is of no matter to the court before they conclude the trial. When the seven days were up, the defendant failed to appear in court. The judge, upon realizing the defendant did not come, served a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest, and told the bail bond agency that the defendant’s bail must be paid in full. In response, the bail bondsman took control of the defendant’s car. The police served the bench warrant, arrested the defendant, and returned him to jail.

The defendant received another bail hearing after his second arrest. The judge decided to raise the defendant’s bail twofold and fined him $5,000 on the charges of failing to appear at court. Again, the defendant sought the help of a bail bond agency. The bondsman agreed to cover the failure to appear bail, on this occasion the defendant signed over the title to his house as collateral. The jail released the defendant, but this time he had learned from his mistake, and met all of the judge’s assigned court dates.

In the end, the court found the defendant innocent, but he had already lost possession of his car and had to pay a $5,000 fine. This example highlights why it is important to always adhere to court dates. Failure to appear in court is against the law and may end up costing thousands of dollars in fines and even years behind bars.

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