What To Do When You Miss a Court Date in Kansas

The first thing to do when you miss a court date is to not panic.  Sit down, take a breath and make sure you know when the court date was scheduled for, why you needed to appear in court and why you missed it.  Maybe you forgot, maybe you were out of town, or maybe you didn’t think it would be such a big deal to miss it.  Whatever the reason for missing the court date, you have options available to you in this time of fear, apprehension and uncertainty.

In Kansas, the law varies on what the penalties will be for missing a court date.  The more severe the crime or offense, the more harsh a judge may be on you for missing the court date.  Typically, a warrant is issued for your arrest if you miss a court date, whether it is for a traffic offense or for a misdemeanor or felony offense.  In such a case, you will have to post pond in order to get the warrant resolved.

Once bond is issued, you must immediately contact a Kansas attorney.  An attorney can help you take care of paying or “posting” the bond, then have a new court date scheduled.  Once you have posted bond, you then must go to your scheduled court date and not miss it a second time.  If you miss a second court date, the consequences will be even more severe and a judge will not be so lenient on you.

Many times you will not know if a warrant has been issued for your arrest unless you get pulled over for a traffic offense, or if you search your name online through the state’s court system (and many people do not know how to do this).  Therefore, the single most important thing to do in a situation where you miss a court date is to contact an attorney immediately.  The cost of an attorney may seem like a lot in the short term, but the cost of ignoring a missed court date can have devastating effects in the long run, including hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees, and possibly jail time.

As mentioned above, you need to remember why you missed your court date.  This is important because you may have a legitimate reason that a judge will consider and look at your case more favorably.  For example, maybe you were ill, maybe a family member was ill, maybe your car broke down, or maybe you made an innocent mistake and forgot.  You should keep track of any proof you have that shows you had a legitimate reason for missing your court date, such as a doctor’s note if you were sick and sought medical treatment, a note from an employer, or an invoice from a car repair shop, proving that your car broke down and was towed somewhere.  Any shred of evidence will be extremely helpful for your case, and an experienced attorney needs to have all of this information.

If you have missed a court date, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.  Charles E. Whitman of the Whitman Law Offices has over 35 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney, defending individuals who have been charged with all kinds of criminal offenses.  Missing a court date, whether for a minor infraction or a more serious misdemeanor or felony offense, can lead you down a stressful path that only a qualified criminal defense attorney can help you with.  Contact our office today for a free consultation.  You may call us at (785) 843-9460, you may contact us online, or you may contact us in person by scheduling an appointment to meet us at our downtown Lawrence office, conveniently located near the University of Kansas (KU) and Baker University.  We will also visit you in jail or at your home, if necessary.

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