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What is a criminal summons and what can they do to you at a

hearing?...
What is a criminal summons and what can they do to you at a hearing?
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
5/2/2013
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,054
Experience: Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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JD 1992 :

Can you provide more information to put this into context?

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Customer reply replied 4 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?

What kind of hearing is it? There are a lot of different kinds in a criminal case.
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Customer reply replied 4 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.

Is this your first appearance in court on this charge?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


yes it is I was just charged with it today?

Were you arrested and taken to jail or just received a summons?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I just received a summons I was not arrested or anything.
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.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


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

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.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


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

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.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


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

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.
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Customer reply replied 4 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.

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.
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Customer reply replied 4 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.

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.
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Customer reply replied 4 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

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.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


What is a personal recognizance bond?

It is where they allow you to not be in jail and you promise to show up to court.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I don't understand what you are saying.I guess I will have to wait til my lawyer calls me Monday.
What part don't you understand?
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Customer reply replied 4 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?

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.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


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

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.
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Customer reply replied 4 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.

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.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


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

I can't answer that for you. I don't know what they were thinking.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


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

With a summons they don't arrest you and take you to jail.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


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

I understand.

Please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating so I get credit for my work.
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,054
Experience: Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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