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Missing a court date for a misdemeanor is not something to take lightly. Courts take missed court appearances very seriously. Depending on the reason you missed it, the judge could take additional legal action against you.

Defendants who have legitimate reasons for missing a court appearance could have their hearing rescheduled, but you want to take immediate action. If you missed a court date for a misdemeanor, please contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney right away.  

What Happens If I Miss My Court Date for a Misdemeanor?

Understandably, people want to know what happens if you miss a court date for a misdemeanor. Depending on the charges, you could be required to appear in court several times.

Failure to show up to any of the scheduled hearings could result in the judge charging you with contempt of court or marking you as a failure to appear. You could be facing fines, jail time, and more.

Possible Consequences of Missing Court Date for a Misdemeanor

Consequences for missing a court date for a misdemeanor will vary depending on the circumstances and the judge. The judge will mark you as a failure to appear, and they could also order any of the following:

  • Bench warrant—this is a warrant for your arrest, which means if the police stop you, you could be arrested;
  • Bail revoked—the judge could revoke your bail, which means you would forfeit your original bond and remain in jail until your trial;
  • Harsher sentence—the judge could impose a harsher sentence in your case if you failed to appear at a sentencing hearing and a negotiated plea agreement was contingent on your appearance
  • Driver license suspension—Often used in traffic offenses, the judge could notify the DMV of your bench warrant, which could give you a deadline to resolve your case or they will suspend your license.

There’s no way to know what the judge will do until you appear in court again. Please don’t risk your future by missing a court date, even for a misdemeanor, unless it’s an emergency.

What Should I Do If I Just Missed My Court Date?

If you just missed your court date, act quickly to show the court you are serious about your case. Waiting will only make your situation worse.

If you don’t get it resolved, you could be arrested at your job, at home in front of your family, during a routine traffic stop, etc. Courts tend to be more lenient if you can show you are committed to resolving an outstanding bench warrant, rather than just ignoring it.

If you do not have a lawyer on your case, you should call the court clerk’s office and ask if your case can be rescheduled to a future court calendar. This is not always possible, though.

Your best option may be to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you and resolve the outstanding warrant.

Can an Attorney Help Me?

Contacting an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney is crucial in these situations.

At Arechigo & Stokka, we know how best to handle a missed court date. We can immediately contact the court clerk and try to get your case rescheduled.

Our goal is to minimize any legal repercussions and get your appearance rescheduled. If you missed a misdemeanor court appearance, contact our office right away.

The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start working with the court to get a bench warrant dismissed and your hearing rescheduled.

Author Photo

John T. Arechigo, Esq.

Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense.  He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime. John offers what very few other Twin Cities criminal defense lawyers can offer. His combination of experience, success, connections, resources, accessibility, and complete handling of a client’s file sets him apart from his colleagues.

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