If you receive a ticket or get sent a summons to appear in court for a criminal matter in Chicago, it is imperative that you show up in court at the time and date specified on the summons. If there is a reason you are unable to go to court at that time, or you are unsure of how to handle your case (which is a common issue), you should call an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Goldman & Associates to represent you at court. Even if the summons or ticket seems like a minor matter, failing to appear in court can carry serious consequences. Despite the potential consequences, people fail to appear in court on a surprisingly regular basis. Judges and prosecutors take failing to appear very seriously.
Reasons People May Fail to Appear
Many people fail to show up at court because they are scared or intimidated by the legal process. Others are in denial that they are facing a criminal matter, and perhaps they mistakenly believe they can avoid facing the consequences of criminal charges if they simply never face a judge. This is not true. The best bet if you are facing criminal charges is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to negotiate with prosecutors, present evidence on your behalf, and reduce or eliminate the consequences you may face.
Some people miss court by accident, however. Sometimes, if you receive a ticket for a minor traffic offense, you may set the ticket aside and plan to deal with it later. Then you may become busy and forget about paying the ticket, and end up missing your court date. You may believe that accidentally forgetting about a court date is a minor issue, though it can be as serious as skipping court on purpose as many of the same consequences may apply.
Consequences of Failing to Appear
If you fail to appear for whatever reason, chances are high that the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. In addition, the prosecutor may charge you with failing to appear (a separate criminal offense), and the Secretary of State may suspend your driver’s license. If you are unaware that any of these consequences have occurred, the results can be devastating.
For example, if you get stopped for a traffic manner again, the officer will see that you have a warrant out and that your license is suspended, and you will likely be arrested. You will then have to post bond in order to get out of jail in addition to facing charges for driving on a suspended license and failing to appear. As you can see, the consequences may increase exponentially if you fail to appear for a court date.
If you are simply frightened of court, experienced attorney Steven Goldman can help you through every step of your case. If you realize you accidentally missed court, contact Goldman & Associates as soon as possible so that an attorney can try to get the warrant lifted and mitigate the consequences you face. No matter what your situation may be, do not hesitate to call our office today for help.