You may contact the court and request a continuance of your court hearing explaining that you will be unavailable for the court hearing on May 17 because you'll be out of town. The sooner you contact the court to request this continuance the better.
Juan C. Garcia, Jr.
GARCIA LAW OFFICE, LLC
It is important that you attend your mandatory court appearances. If you fail to appear to your court date a warrant may be issued for your arrest and you may be charged with an additional crime. If you contact and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, often times the attorney can appear to your court dates on your behalf. If you cannot make your court date it is imperative that you get the date continued or have someone appear for you! Good luck!
I agree with the first two answers. You must either get the Judge's approval ahead of your court date to reset it, or else have yourself or an attorney show up. Otherwise the Judge will issue a capias (arrest warrant) and you will likely have to be booked into jail and hope that you can make the bond. You also risk getting charged with a separate crime of Failure To Appear.
You can attempt to contact the Judge's Assistant and explain your situation in the hopes that the Judge will agree to reschedule your case before the 17th. If your case is in Hillsborough County, you can find the phone number for your Judge's Assistant on the Court's website at http://www.fljud13.org/JudicialDirectory.aspx.
If you are able to hire an attorney, that could also keep you out of trouble. If this is your first hearing on the case, called an Arraignment, an attorney can have it automatically rescheduled by filing certain court pleadings (note that the Rules of Procedure only allow an attorney to reschedule in this manner). If this is a pre-trial conference, an attorney may be able to file a written notice of waiver of appearance on your behalf and appear for you. Whatever you do, don't miss your mandatory court appearances. Good luck!
Legal disclaimer: this response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is based on the limited facts given and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney before taking any action based on the foregoing statements.