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What Happens When a Defendant Misses Court While Out On Bond?

Mar 20, 2017 | Bail Bond Information, Blog

When “what happens in Vegas” results in a subpoena to court, it’s never a good idea to leave a judge waiting.  Skipping a court date should be avoided at all costs. However, there are times when it’s simply impossible, as well as times when it’s just plain inconvenient. Perhaps the dog ate your paperwork, maybe you’re in the hospital, or in another courtroom far away.  Courtroom schedules are monitored meticulously and a missed court date can land you in even bigger trouble. The ultimate danger of missing a court date is that your bond will be revoked and you’ll end up with a bench warrant. A bench warrant tells officers “As soon as you see this person, arrest them.” Can you imagine going to jail after a routine traffic stop? It happens, it’s preventable, and we’re here to help.

What to do if you can’t make it to your court date:

If your court date isn’t working for you, call your bondsman immediately to discuss your options.  With enough advance notice and a reasonably verifiable scheduling conflict, you may be able to change the court date.  A dentist appointment can be rescheduled, but Grandma’s funeral can not.  Sometimes that’s taken into consideration and it’s best to sort it out well in advance of the court date.

Your bondsman will also discuss the potential consequences of missing your court date, in case you just need a little peer pressure.  Nobody wants to go to court, but plenty of people end up forfeiting their bond or subject to bench warrants for failing to attend. We’re on your side, and will work with you to get your court date rescheduled if necessary, but advance notice is very important.

Are Some Courts More Lenient Than Others?

Court policies vary. For example, it might be easier to reschedule a court date with enough advance notice in Las Vegas Justice Court than in Las Vegas Municipal Court. The last thing you want to do it have your bond end up in forfeiture, especially if you’ve asked a family member or loved one to cosign. The nature of your case, prior cases and other factors may affect your ability to reschedule.

Will it Cost More Money if I Miss Court?

Reinstatement fees apply in some cases, and the bondsman might be required to make a motion before the judge will allow a court date to be rescheduled. Additionally, the court may require a cash bond, which is often an obstacle our clients can’t afford.

How can I Get Out of My Court Date?

Technically, you can’t. But you might be able to postpone it for a good enough reason.  It’s important to show that you’ve made every effort to attend and notified your bondman at the earliest possible moment.  If your bond man makes suggestions for ways to get to court, like helping with transportation or other logistics, follow through on their advice. It can make a big difference. The court will take into consideration the honest but diligent effort you’ve made.

What is Our Policy on Missed Court Dates?

8-ball Bail Bonds always works closely with clients and offers a 24 hours grace period with forfeiture notice. We are community-focused and want our clients to stay in good standing with the court system, so our staff is helpful when it comes to finding solutions to whatever obstacle you’re facing. We’re also pro-active about walking you through the process, so that you know what to expect.

If you have an upcoming court date and aren’t able to attend, be sure to contact us quickly so we can discuss your options.