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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience practicing attorney
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i failed to appear for a summons or supboena and dont remember

Customer Question

i failed to appear for a summons or supboena and dont remember ever getting served with papers. there is a warrant for me. what is the penalty in wv for this?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
What type of case was this?

Were you subpoenaed as a witness or were you the defendant?

Were you ever served or do you not have any recollection?


How were you supposedly served?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i dont remember being served with anything. i have no criminal record and i havent even had a speeding ticket in the past 5 years. i was pulled over last night for a missing headlight and a charles town police officer told me martinsburg had a warrant out for me. he said they would not come and get me and it was only a city warrant so he wouldnt either. had it of been a state warrant he would have. when i called the lady at the martinsburg police department she said she could not give me any warrant info. i asked if i needed a lawer and she let me talk to a police officer. he said that it was for failure to appear and that once a subpoena was issued it went to the clerks office and he could not tell anything else about it till monday when they open. he said even if they pulled me over in martinsburg (where it is issued) they would not arrest me because they do not have the paper work.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

Dear XXXXXKIMPEL - The best thing to do whenever there is a warrant outstanding is to appear when court is in session. If the offense is simply a failure to appear and you appear on your own then most judges are not going to do anything to you. The problem I'm having is that I don't know what the underlying reason was for you to appear. This could be anything from a parking ticket to a serious offense so unless the clerk of court will tell you what it is you were supposed to appear for I would strongly suggest that you seek legal counsel in Martinsburg to check this out before you make an appearance.


If you find from the clerk that this was some minor offense then you can go to the court while it is in session and explain to the judge that you just found out about this and want to clear it up. You should not any statements about the case and you can enter a plea of not guilty depending on what the charges may be. The clerks office can tell you when the court will be in session and they should be able to tell you the reason for which you were to appear in the first place.


Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i run an air conditioning business and i have never paid a bill late, have never paid my taxes late, and my accountant says i have some of the most organized books he has ever seen. not bragging but simply explaining if i can do these thing on time and remember them i think i would have remembered a sheriff serving me or even if it came in the mail i would have noticed because i process all of the mail myself because of business transactions. how are you supposed to be notified. if this were a serious offense wouldnt they have taken me to jail regardless of where i was? the last (and most likely worst) crime i commited was smoking pot when i was a teenager(10 years ago), if this is for a serious crime it would have to be a mistake.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

I agree completely but since neither of us know what this concerns I have to use caution when offering information. I suspect this is something very minor so I wouldn't worry too much but I still think it is important to try to find out exactly what the underlying cause was for the court appearance before you show up in court. The fact that you have been a good citizen really is not relevant as to what may be the cause for which you were to appear. As you said, it could all be some mistake of identity. There's just no way I have of knowing what the may be.