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I unintentionally missed my court date. A bench warrant has been issued. Can I get another court date without going to jail?

Baltimore, MD |

I missed my court date (not intentionally, though). I now understand that a bench warrant has been issued. I didn't miss my court date intentionally. Is there something I can do to get another court date without going to jail. Is there some kind of motion that I can file with the court?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

In Seattle, where I practice, you just call up the court in which your case was filed and get on the warrants calendar. Ask them for the date, time, and courtroom number. Once you get there, explain to the judge what happened and ask for the warrant to be quashed or revoked. Some courts allow you to just walk in without having made prior arrangements. In Seattle, the judge will usually quash the warrant and give you another court date in a criminal case, unless there are unusual circumstances such as a substantial history of failing to appear in court or particularly serious offenses. In these more serious cases, the judge may take a person into custody or require them to post bail.

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Posted

It depends on the underlying charge. You would file a Motion to Recall Bench Warrant and Request for Hearing date and include an explanation of why you missed the court date. The judge may grant the motion and set a new date, or the motion may be denied, in which case you would have to arrange to turn yourself in and arrange whatever bail terms have been set. If it is just a minor traffic matter and you have no prior history of failing to appear for court hearing, you shouldn't have a problem. Another approach would be to go to the courthouse, pay the ticket while not admitting guilt, and request a new trial date.

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Posted

Contact the court and explain your situation. IF they will not recall the warrant, you need a local lawyer. However, if this is just a ticket, you will likely get it recalled on your own.

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