What if you receive a summons to appear in court for a misdemeanor in Washington state?
Alcohol Related Driving OffencesIf you have received a gut wrenching letter from a District or Municipal Court in the state of Washington, you might be wondering if you have to appear in court. There is a short answer. If the crime alleged against you is Driving While Intoxicated, Physical Control While Intoxicated or Minor Operating a Motor Vehicle with BAC Level of .02 or greater, you must appear in court for all scheduled court appearances unless your presence has been waived by the Court.
Domestic Violence ChargesIf you have been charged with a crime categorized or classified as DV or Domestic Violence, whether a charge of Assault or any other misdemeanor, you must appear at your first appearance or arraignment and all other scheduled court appearances unless your presence has been waived by the Court.
For all other Misdemeanor ChargesIf you have been charged with any other misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor that is not DUI/DWI or Domestic Violence related, you can avoid personal appearance in court at your first appearance or arraignment if you have legal counsel who files a Waiver of Arraignment with the appropriate court prior to your first scheduled court date. The practice of waiving arraignment does not eliminate the need to appear for any other court appearance unless arrangements have been made to waive your presence and you have advanced court approval. The prosecutor may agree to waive your presence for other court dates, however actual approval must be obtained from the Court.
(If you re charged with a felony, you must appear at all hearings. You cannot waive arraignment, even with an attorney, for a felony case.)
FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR A SCHEDULED COURT DATE WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE COURT WILL SUBJECT AN INDIVIDUAL TO THE ISSUANCEOF AN ARREST WARRANT