What Happens When You Miss a Court Date in Colorado?
Being arrested can be an incredibly terrifying experience. What many people don’t realize is that it’s a big deal to miss a court date. It can be difficult to continue on with your life – work, family, school – when you have a court date looming. If for some reason you truly can’t make it to the court date, you should let your lawyer know as soon as possible so they can try to help you.
If You Miss Your Court Date
If you have no choice but to miss your court date, or if you forget or don’t make it for some other reason, it’s important to know what the consequences are and what you can do to minimize and negative outcomes.
- You Will Lose Money: When you are arrested in Colorado, the judge will set your bail. This is the amount of money you must pay to be released from custody. Sometimes you will be permitted to sign on your own recognizance, and sometimes you will need to pay a substantial amount of money. If you attend all of your court dates, you should receive your money back when the case is concluded. If you miss a court date, you forfeit the money you paid to be released from jail. This can have a significant impact on many people.
- You Will be Arrested: As soon as you miss a court date, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. If you get pulled over for speeding or running a stop sign, you will likely be taken into custody right then and there. It’s possible that the police will be actively looking for you as well.
- New Bail Set: Once you are arrested again, your bail will probably not remain the same. Bail will be set again, and it will almost certainly be higher than it was the first time, or you may not have the option to pay bail and be released at all. When you pay bail and are released from custody, you are promising to attend all court dates. Since you didn’t do this, the judge will likely increase the bail this time and you must pay again to get released.
- Lose Driver’s License: When you miss a court date in Colorado, you will probably lose your driver’s license for a period of time. Once you are arrested or turn yourself in and the warrant is cleared, you should be able to reinstate your license.
- Probation Revocation Hearing: If you are on probation and you miss a court date, this is a violation of your probation. You must show up to all court dates. If this happens, you will probably have to attend a probation revocation hearing. You could have your probation extended or even have probation revoked entirely and spend time in jail.
Consequences Can Vary
The consequences of missing a court date can vary from case to case. As you can see, they are very serious in some instances. If you know you have to miss a court date, always contact the court and/or your criminal defense attorney to let them know. Simply not showing up is the worst thing you can do if you can’t make it.
If you need help with a missed court date, contact Dolan + Zimmerman LLP today for a free consultation.