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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28711
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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What is a criminal summons and what can they do to you at a

Resolved Question:

What is a criminal summons and what can they do to you at a hearing?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

JD 1992 :

Can you provide more information to put this into context?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


what do you mean provide more context? I was charged with a criminal summons for electronic mail harassment and a summons was issued. I was wondering what a criminal summons was and what can happen at the hearing?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
What kind of hearing is it? There are a lot of different kinds in a criminal case.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


All it says is that it is a misdemeanor criminal summons. That I need to appear in court to answer to the charges.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Is this your first appearance in court on this charge?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


yes it is I was just charged with it today?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Were you arrested and taken to jail or just received a summons?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just received a summons I was not arrested or anything.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
The judge can set a bail amount and then you have to post the bail or go to jail. Usually at the first appearance it is just a docket call where you announce if you have a lawyer and plead not guilty. If you want to plead guilty you can talk to the DA and see what they offer but usually it is just a time to enter a plea and for the judge to set a tentative date for trial.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


So what you are saying it will be best to go up there and take some money for bail?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, you probably want to have a bail bondsman on call just in case. A lot of times they are willing to come to court just in case, or they are up there anyway.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


But what is a summons? I have never been in trouble before?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
A summons is one mean of initiating a criminal charge. There are other ways as well, but in this case it was a summons used to charge you with a crime. It charges you and also commands you to be in court by a certain time on a certain day.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


So if I have already been charged with a crime and served the paper how can I be arrested?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Usually they arrest you at the time. I'm not sure why they didn't do it, other than they don't want you to have to wait in jail until a judge can set bail. It could also be that the judge has a standing order that anyone charged with that level of crime doesn't get arrested they just get a summons.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


They told me that is was a arrest but I didn't have to appear before a migrastriate. So idk what that means.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
If they actually arrested you then there is probably a standing order for a Personal Recognizance bond which means that you won't be arrested and have to post bond again.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I mean they didn't handcuff me or anything. But the cop said when they served the paper on me that it was a arrest. I mean I just don't understand all this stuff.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Usually an arrest means you go to jail but for some reason they didn't do it in your case. You probably also want to get a lawyer to represent you in this and they can be ready to assist you to make bond if they do arrest you but if the officer told you that he had arrested you then they released you without bond so you got lucky.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Well I mean this girl has been giving me trouble since we broke up. So I mean I guess they are finally feeling my pain. But why wouldn't I have to go before a magristrate

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
A magistrate sets bond and so if they automatically agreed to a personal recognizance bond that wouldn't be necessary.

I am about to sign off for the night. If you have additional questions please post them and i will answer them in morning.

Also, please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating so I get credit for my work. Once you issue your rating it locks the question open and it will no longer time out.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


What is a personal recognizance bond?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
It is where they allow you to not be in jail and you promise to show up to court.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't understand what you are saying.I guess I will have to wait til my lawyer calls me Monday.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
What part don't you understand?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I mean I am not understanding what a criminal summons is and Idk if I need a bail bondsmen or not. I just don't understand what to do?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
A criminal summons is a charge against you that requires you to go to court on a certain date at a certain time. Based on what you told me earlier you don't require a bail bondsman right now.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


But when I go to court on June the 6th I might need one or what?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
With the information you have given you might need one but probably not. If you go ahead and hire your lawyer they can find out ahead of time for sure and you may not even need to be there June 6.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


It says on the summons failure to appear will result in a contempt of court and a 500 dollar fine or and 30 days in jail.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
That's correct, unless you have a lawyer and they tell you that you don't have to be there. A lawyer can sometimes enter an appearance for you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


But why did they issue a summons and not a order for arrest?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
I can't answer that for you. I don't know what they were thinking.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


What is the difference from a summons to a order or arrest besides you have to make bond?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
With a summons they don't arrest you and take you to jail.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


ok thanks for your help. I just wish this nightmare would end. Some relationships are not worth the headache.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
I understand.

Please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating so I get credit for my work.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28711
Experience: Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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Dwayne B.
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Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.