If you or a loved one have been issued a warrant for a missed court date, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney right away. The penalties for missing a court date could have a severe impact on your life.

The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC is a criminal defense lawyer in Virginia that is committed to helping people in the situation get the help they need. The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC will take the time to listen to your concerns and find any possibility for minimizing your penalties. Read on to learn more about warrants, and schedule a free consultation with a Virginia criminal defense lawyer if you need help in this situation.

What Is A Warrant?

A warrant is formally defined as: “A writ permitting or directing someone to take some action. Frequently, the term refers to a writ from a judge, permitting law enforcement personnel to take some action, such as make an arrest, search a location, or seize some piece of property.”

There are two different types of warrants that you may come across: a bench warrant or an arrest warrant. If a law enforcement officer issues a bench warrant, it means that law enforcement officer was directed to take someone into custody and bring that person in front of a judge to discuss and formally address the reason another warrant was issued. If you fail to appear or comply with a court date, fail to pay a fine, fail to do community service or pay child support, or if you fail to adhere to the terms of your probation correctly, you may be issued a bench warrant. Those who are summoned via a bench warrant are sometimes held in jail until the court hears the case, and the person might be required to pay bail, court fees, or more.

An arrest warrant is slightly different from a bench warrant. If law enforcement have substantial evidence that proves you did in fact commit a crime, a law enforcement officer such as a detective or police officer can issue a warrant for your arrest. Then, once you are formally in custody, you may be held in jail without a release hearing or arraignment. Be sure to call a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you get in trouble, and don’t try to defend yourself on your own. You may be facing serious penalties for which you will need strong representation.

What Are The Penalties For Missing A Court Appearance?

If you do not appear In court as you are obligated to do so, you have technically violated a court order. After violating a court order, a judge can charge you with the crime of failing to appear or contempt of court.

Penalties for missing a court appearance include being issued a bench warrant, having to pay a financial penalty such as a high fine, a mandatory sentence in a state or federal incarceration facility, and even suspension of your driver’s license. If your license has become suspended because of failure to appear for a court date, the suspension will be effective until you present before a judge and appear. It’s wise to hire an attorney if this happens, so that you don’t have to be burdened with these penalties without representation.

If you were released on your own recognizance previously, the judge can actually change the conditions of your release. If you fail to appear for a court date, they can impose a bond that requires you to deposit money with the court so that you can be released while you’re waiting for your court date. The judge may increase your bond or can even require that you stay in jail until your case is fully finished.

Schedule A Free No Obligation Consultation With A Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been arrested for missing a court appearance, you need the help of a smart criminal defense attorney to defend you. Depending on the crime that you were charged with, you could be facing severe penalties. The right lawyer will help you find a defense for the crimes in question, and will stop at nothing to make sure your penalties are as minimized as possible and that justice is always upheld for you.

We offer a free no obligation consultation for anyone who has been arrested for missing a court appearance. We will take the time to listen to your situation and advise you on the best next steps for moving forward. The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC is a skilled, hard working criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights every step of the way and make sure that you are accurately represented every step of the way.