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Can you be arrested for being late for court?

Lancaster, CA |

My brother is on probabation and was 4 hours late to court due to publiic transportation and was arrested on friday june 26th he has been held in jail until his next court date, which is july 10th. Is this legal, he has not violated his probation in any other way.

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Attorney answers 3


He was ordered to return to court on a certain date and time. By showing up 4 hours late, he was in violation of the court's order and put his release status in jeopardy.

Whether or not he'll be readmitted to bail is up to the court. I hope his attorney is working hard to show that this was not an intentional failure to appear by your brother, but instead was the result of a situation beyond his control.

I'm sure the next question from the judge will be . . . Why couldn't you have called the court or your attorney?


Mr Dane is correct, as usual. Yes it is legal. If he dosn't already have a lawyer, he needs to get legal advice on his options of how to deal with this situation before he goes to Court. Good luck.

This information is offered for educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice and you should not rely upon it to decide how to resolve this issue. No Attorney-Client relationship is intended or established by this response. You are faced with a situation where you need to consult with an experienced defense lawyer admitted to practice law in your State before you make any decisions as to how to resolve this issue.


You ask if this is legal. Your brother only violates the court's order to return if he fails to appear at the time and place indicated and his failure to so appear is willful. You indicated that he did not fail to appear willfully. If you are on a subway and the electricity fails and you are stuck there for four hours then you are not willfully failing to appear. Can your brother make a similar claim? If its a matter of just poor bus service then the delay will be imputed to the accused and his failure will be deemed 'willful'. But 'willful' it must be. For this reason the preceding two answers are technically incorrect but practically they are correct. Today's lesson: Don't belate to court. Its the easiest way to help things go in your favor!