4 Reasons Why You Should NOT Miss Court

I realize that nobody wants to go to court, but it’s pretty important. Just yesterday I had two different clients call me about missing court. The first had already missed court and wanted to know if a warrant was issued. It was. The second client wanted to know if they could send their father in their place. My answer: No. If you are charged with a crime in Illinois, you — and only you — must go to court. Sure, things happen and there are exceptions, but as a general rule: Going to court is the most important thing you have to do. Here are four reasons why:

1. A warrant could be issued for your arrest.

If you don’t show up, the judge can (and usually will) issue a warrant for your arrest. If you are arrested on that warrant, odds are you’ll be sitting in jail until you are brought before the same judge that issued the warrant, unless you can post the bond amount that was set.

2. If you posted bond money, it may be forfeited.

If you are out on bond for a pending case and miss your court date, the judge can order that your bond money be forfeited to the state. This means that when your case is resolved, you no longer get that money back.

3. A conviction could be entered against you.

If you don’t appear for court, you can automatically be found guilty of the crime you are charged with.

4. Even if the above things don’t happen, the judge knows.

Every time a case is up in court, the judge makes notes on the court file. This means that if you don’t show up, the judge will always know. Judges generally don’t like defendants that fail to appear in court.

If you miss a court date, contact your lawyer immediately. Although it is ultimately up to the judge’s discretion, a criminal defense attorney may be able to lessen the damage or clear up a warrant.