What Happens if You Fail to Appear in Court for a Ticket

If you fail to appear in court for a ticket, it can have serious consequences for your driving privileges and criminal record. This includes additional penalties, fines, warrants, months in jail, and even arrests.

Whether you have an upcoming court date or have missed your our Chicago traffic defense attorneys can help. Call our firm today at 773-888-0365 to schedule a free consultation.

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Not Showing Up in Court For a Traffic Ticket

The severity of the traffic infractions ticket and your state’s laws determine the penalties, which can include fines, license suspension, or even time in jail. Contact the court with proper notice and explain your absence to make arrangements for answering your original ticket’s reckless driving charge. The court may cooperate if you give a valid reason for your absence.

Definition and Types of Traffic Tickets

A traffic ticket is a legal summons for breaking traffic laws. It can be issued by a police officer or law office for speeding, running a red light, failing to yield, or driving without insurance. Tickets provide info on the violation and penalties. They can also serve as a warning for minor violations. Traffic tickets are civil offenses heard in civil court. Consequences vary based on the severity of the violation.

What Happens if You Receive a Traffic Ticket?

If you get a traffic ticket, take it seriously. Not showing up in court can have serious consequences. These consequences may include more fines, losing your driver’s license, getting an arrest warrant, and adding points to your driving record. Take action and either go to court or contact the court to discuss other options.

a traffic citation

What to Expect From a Court Appearance

When charged with an offense, you must attend a hearing in court. This applies to criminal, civil, and traffic cases. Witnesses may need to come to court for trials. Not showing up in court is a serious offense and can lead to a guilty verdict, fines, loss of payment plans privileges, or arrest. If you can’t appear for a traffic violation, contact the court immediately using an online contact form to make arrangements.

Requirements for an Appearance in Court

If you receive a traffic ticket, attend court. Not going can lead you to face serious consequences such as misdemeanor charges, arrest warrants, or license suspension. 

Penalties for Not Making an Appearance in Court

If you fail to appear in court for a traffic ticket hearing, it can result in significant consequences without sufficient evidence. The consequences depend on the jurisdiction. In most cases, if you don’t go to court for a traffic violation, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest.

The warrant may only be for failing to appear or it may include the original charge. Courts can also impose other penalties, like more fines addition, a suspended driver’s license, and reinstatement fee charges.

Reasons You May Not Be Able to Make It to Court on Time

There are various reasons for not making it to court on time for a traffic ticket misdemeanor offense. Some reasons are out of one’s control and can have serious consequences if not showing up.

One reason is a medical emergency or illness. If someone or a family member gets sick and needs hospitalization, they may not be able to attend court. Unexpected travel for work or personal reasons can also cause a missed court date. Lastly, being in jail for another matter can also result in missing a traffic court date.

Medical Emergency as an Exception

If you have a medical emergency and can’t go to court for a civil traffic ticket, contact the courthouse or jurisdiction where the ticket was given. Explain your situation and provide medical documentation. They might grant you an extension, but it varies for each case. Contact the court using their online form as soon as possible if you can’t attend your court date.

Default Judgment & Other Possible Exceptions

If a party doesn’t show up in court for a civil traffic hearing, a default judgment can happen. The judge can find the defendant guilty without them being there. This judgment can result in extra fines or points on their license. There are some exceptions, like asking for a jury trial or resolving the matter outside of court.

the inside of a court room

Criminal Charges and Possible Sentences After Missing Your Court Date

If you receive a traffic ticket, you must go to court. Not showing up at the criminal traffic ticket hearing can have serious consequences. This includes criminal charges and possible sentences. Missing your court date usually results in a bench warrant for your arrest. The police can arrest you if they find you. 

Criminal Charges After Missing A Court Date

If you don’t show up in court for a traffic ticket, the judge can issue an arrest warrant. This could result in misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the state. The severity of the charge depends on the ticket and your criminal history.

Possible Penalties After Missing A Court Date

Not going to court for a traffic ticket can lead to big trouble. The consequences can include paying a lot of money or going to jail, depending on the offense and location. In many places, not showing up in court can result in a warrant for your arrest. If the police find you, they can arrest you.

How Can You Resolve Your Case Without Going To Jail?

If you don’t go to court for a traffic ticket, you can resolve the case without going to jail. Consequences depend on the severity of the violation and the jurisdiction. The court can issue a warrant or impose fines and late fees. First, contact the court right away. Explain the situation and work out a plan.

Hire an Experienced Chicago Traffic Lawyers Today!

At Chicago Traffic Lawyers, our experienced traffic lawyers understand the impact a missed court date can have on your life. Our traffic defense attorneys have experience in fighting all types of traffic tickets and can assist you throughout the legal process. If you have failed to appear in court for a traffic ticket, don’t delay—contact us today.

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