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Can You Reschedule a Court Date If You Miss It? Find Out Your Options

Things don’t always go according to plan, and sometimes that can mean missing a court date. You might have been super prepared, but then life gets in the way! So, can you reschedule a court date if you miss it? Yes, in Florida there’s a possibility, but it’s not guaranteed.

The judge in charge of your case has the final say on rescheduling. If you miss your hearing, the most important thing is to call the courthouse right away and explain what happened. The court will then decide if your reason for missing is legit and if they’ll give you a new date.

can you reschedule a court date if you miss it

Freepik | Anna Tolipova | Missing court in Florida is a big deal. If you can’t go, let the court know ahead of time with a good reason.

Before diving into rescheduling, let’s explore the potential consequences of missing a court date in Florida.

1. Bench Warrant Issued

Skipping court in Florida is a serious offense. If you can’t make it, inform the court beforehand with a valid reason. Otherwise, a judge might issue a warrant for your arrest. This means you can be arrested anytime, even during a routine traffic stop.

2. Additional Criminal Charges

Failing to show up in court while on bail in Florida is against the law. If your original charge was a misdemeanor, it’s a first-degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. For felonies, it’s a third-degree felony, with penalties of up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

3. Bond Changes

In Florida, being released on bond means you’re promising to show up for all your court hearings. The bail money ensures you’ll appear. If you skip your first court date, you might lose the bond money, and if you’re arrested later, the court could raise the bond amount, making it harder to get out before your next court date.

4. Judge’s Perception

Missing court can impact the judge’s perception of you. They might view you as unreliable or uncommitted to the legal process, influencing their decision, especially if you’re seeking leniency or a plea deal.

The Rescheduling Path

can you reschedule a court date if you miss it

Freepik | As soon as you recognize you’ll be unable to attend your court date, promptly reach out to your criminal defense attorney.

Can you reschedule a court date if you miss it? Here’s what to do if the answer is yes:

  • Act : The moment you realize you’ll miss your court date, contact your criminal defense attorney immediately. They’ll need to reach out to the judge’s office to explain the situation.
  • Be Honest: When explaining your absence to the court, be truthful and upfront. Valid reasons in Florida include medical emergencies, death in the family, or unforeseen circumstances that prevented your attendance. Remember, the ultimate decision lies with the judge.
  • Motions Might Be Needed: Your attorney might need to file a motion to continue or a motion to set aside a bench warrant (if issued) when requesting a new court date. These are formal legal documents requiring proper preparation and filing. If you don’t have an attorney, hiring one is recommended for this step.
  • The Judge’s Call: The judge will review your motion and decide based on your case specifics and the reason for missing the original date.

Second Chances and Beyond

can you reschedule a court date if you miss it

Freepik |  igorkoter  | Failing to attend another hearing could result in escalating penalties.

If the court grants a reschedule, consider it a lucky break. Ensure you attend the next court date at any cost. Missing another hearing can lead to much harsher consequences, including increased penalties for “Failure to Appear” and potential bond revocation.

Remember, the legal system prioritizes your presence in court. By acting, presenting a valid reason, and with the help of an attorney, you can increase your chances of rescheduling a missed court date.

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