Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
What was the reason you missed court?
I wrote down the month of June instead of May
not a legitimate excuse, i know
OK, and you discovered that when and how? I am not trying to grill you, but these are possible, even likely questions in a few hours. You will probably be just fine. Have you ever failed to appear for court before?
I found out when my bondsman called me earlier this afternoon to ask me why I had missed my court date. I immediately called the court to reschedule. I have missed a court date in the past because of work, but I called the clerk a few hours after the scheduled appearance and she had no problem rescheduling the court date. This district, apparently, does not reschedule
the court date was scheduled on May 16, fyi
In my experience, including in Dallas, judges don't give clerks the authority to reschedule once court is missed. As I said, my guess is that you will not go to jail. Do you mind me asking where your lawyer was for all this?
i have not hired one. I'm waiting on a court appointed attorney, I am a student at Texas State and don't really have the money for that
Understood. Was this the very first court date in the case then? What is the charge?
i had some community service to take care of from a PI I received in Austin a few years back (which I have not finished), in that time I ended up moving to Pittsburgh for a year and a half for an internship and school. They scheduled a court date for early January of this year which I missed because I was unaware. I was then picked up on a warrant on January 20. It wasn't until March that they had scheduled the court date which was to take place on May 16.
so, no, this is not the first court date
Well, those are not in your favor, as you well know. The judge's perspective, right or wrong, is that you haven't taken care of this matter, perhaps are not giving it the priority it deserves, and that you have now missed 3(?) court dates. I would hope for the best but be ready for the worst. I would be very sorry. Emphasize that it was an accident, that you take this matter seriously and intend to put it behind you.
If there was a place open to do it, I would advise you to do community service hours NOW.
i still owe 30 hours
when I go in tomorrow morning, will I be able to speak with an attorney or will I have to face the judge alone?
Can you come up with a plan? It would be very good if you could tell that judge that you plan to do your hours at this place starting this date.
I could probably do that. The community service they originally assigned me had a set location and time
i guess I could let him know I will be able to do it on Monday and Tuesday the next 2 weeks which would take care of all the hours I owe
I could also pay all fees and penalties by the end of the week if that helps
This is one of the only times I can think of when your talking to an attorney probably would not be a good sign. That would likely mean the judge was going forward with an Order to Show Cause of why you should not be held in contempt. By the way, when I suggested that about the community service hours, I am just assuming that there is nothing really in dispute here.
okay, I will confront the judge myself then
How about showing up with the $$ tomorrow??!! Yes, it helps. You have to show that you understand that this is a top priority.
Whatever you have left to do, I would tell that judge just how quickly you can and will get it done. But don't break your promises!!!
I only have access to $200 right now, all my money is in an investment account which wouldn't become available until midnight after I order the transfer
one last question
will it help that I have a job to keep, a dog to take care of, and summer classes to attend?
Pay what you can. That shows good faith. Also, sketch out at least a timetable on the community service. I am just trying to be real here.
oh I wouldn't tick off your other responsibilities. No. Make that judge think that the most important thing in your life right now is getting this done!
I hope this helps and that it goes well. You should be OK. "Accepting" my answer would be much appreciated.
thanks for your time and advice, it was very much appreciated.