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Missed my court date, what should I do?

Atlanta, GA |

I was cited a few months ago for MIP, went to court and they put me in a diversion type program. I've completed everything asked of me, but when I went to court a little less than a month ago I hadn't done the recommended 9 hours of drug and alcohol classes. So he rescheduled my court date for the first week of october, which happened to be wednesday the 2nd. I ended up marking down the 7th on my calendar, they sent the paper in the mail giving me the official court date but it wasn't addressed to me. It was addressed to some woman, so I returned to sender. I'm thinking they made a mailing mistake with that. So I have all of my classes done and I am going to court monday morning to try and see if they can put me in the schedule to see the judge. What should I expect? What should I do?

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Attorney answers 4


Of course you should try to get a lawyer to be there with you. Or at least consult with a local lawyer before you go. If you cannot afford a lawyer they will appoint one to speak to you there if it looks like you are in danger of going to jail. But I would venture a guess that if you have in fact completed everything you were supposed to do that you will be ok. No guarantees,however, I do no know anything about your prior record or the facts of the underlying case. good luck!

Please consult with your own lawyer before following any opinions I am expressing here. If you do not have a lawyer on a criminal case, you better get one. You should not be looking for free advice as a substitute for having your own qualified advocate working with you on the case.


Go by the clerk's office and get a copy of the notice that was addressed to the wrong name and hopefully you had those classes done before your actual court date on the 2nd. It says you're in Atlanta so if you're going to Atlanta municipal court and you're in failure to appear status you must check in before 7:30am or they will not add your case to the calendar.


Based on the diversion program, it sounds like you are in DeKalb Recorder's Court. If that is the case, I think you need a lawyer to fix the situation. This Court has specific FTA court. With a lawyer you can avoid this process. This Court is kind of a pain in the butt. They are very disorganized and things happen like this all the time. It's hard enough for lawyers to deal with this Court, let alone a non lawyer.


Contact the clerk of court, and the administrator of the program if there is one, and let them know what happened. They will let you know what to do. Be sure to let them know you have completed everything.

James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.