What Happens if I Miss My Court Date?
Missing a Court Date in IndianaWhat happens if I miss my court appearance? There are several consequences which can be extremely serious. If you miss your court date, you may be charged with a "failure to appear" misdemeanor. Your notice will be mailed to the address on your court records, it is your responsibility to ensure this is accurate.Court Appearances are RequiredWhen you are facing criminal charges or receive a traffic ticket, you will be ordered to appear in court before a judge and possibly a jury. While traffic tickets usually only require a single appearance, certain criminal charges will likely require several appearances, all of which will also be required.
Failure to AppearIf you miss a court date, you could be charged with a crime known as “failure to appear,” which is normally considered a misdemeanor. However, if the crime you were scheduled to face at your appearance is a felony, failure to appear increases to a Class D felony charge, which carries even heavier additional penalties.What usually happens when you fail to appear is your judge issue a warrant for your arrest, which means that law enforcement can arrest you on sight and take you into custody. This is most likely done if you are pulled over for a routine traffic stop, but law enforcement could take things into their own hands and go to your home or place of employment to execute the warrant.Penalties for failure to appear can include:
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000
- Class D Felony: Between six months and three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000