What to Do If You Missed Your Brooklyn Court Date
Missing a court date is a serious issue, especially for criminal cases. The judge immediately issues a bench warrant for your arrest, and you will likely face additional criminal charges.
Even if you leave the state, the bench warrant will follow you. If the police pull you over and find the warrant, they would generally hold you without bail in whatever state they found you in and then return you to New York on a Governor’s Warrant. They don’t have to move quickly on the return either: they can leave you to sit in jail for weeks before ultimately returning you to face charges. If you try to visit any International airport, the warrant will trigger at customs.
Worse, you can be convicted of a bail-jumping charge even if you’re acquitted of every other charge. You’d still receive a criminal record and possibly jail time, with all the negative consequences that come along with those things. This is true even if the charge was relatively minor, like loitering or drinking in public. In addition, if you’ve already demonstrated that you’re unlikely to show up for a court date, you may have trouble being released on your recognizance for the underlying charge.
If you’re convicted of any other offense, your bail-jumping charge will add to your jail time.
However, there is hope. As your Brooklyn criminal defense attorney, Neil Ruskin can resolve this issue with the courts if you act within 30 days of missing your court date. He can advise you on your next steps and help you prepare an explanation that the court will accept.
Much will depend on the reasons why you missed your date. You should be able to show there were circumstances beyond your control, such as a hospital stay or a family emergency. You will have to prove your circumstances by producing records or other evidence.
Be careful when deciding something is enough of an emergency to miss your court date. Some judges won’t accept anything less severe than a major illness or visit to the ER. Forgetting or misunderstanding the information on a Desk Appearance Ticket won’t be enough.
In general, it is always wiser to make your court date. Sign up for text alerts and do whatever you can to get there on time. Your entire future may depend on it.