Have a Court Date for a Criminal Charge in New Jersey? Here’s Why You Need to Appear
Appearing for a court date can be a tremendous challenge. You may have to arrange transportation to a courthouse located some distance away from you. You may have to take time off work, arrange childcare, or wait in long lines with frustrated, unhappy, angry people. You may be tempted not to appear for the court date at all. That is a bad idea. Missing a required court date in municipal or superior court in New Jersey can spell harsh, unintended consequences. Here are some general consequences associated with failing to appear for court in New Jersey. While the potential consequences for failing to appear that you may face differ depending on the specific court involved, you want to avoid any any all of the penalties explained below. If you already failed to appear in court and there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, contact our local Hudson County criminal lawyers for help with your defense. We represent clients in municipal courts throughout the area, including those in Hoboken, Bayonne, Jersey City, Weehawken, and Kearny, as well as Hudson County Superior Court. Call (201) 793-8018 anytime to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can explain your options in a free consultation.
What if I Fail to Appear for a Motor Vehicle Case in Hoboken?
If you have been summoned to appear in court on a motor vehicle case and you miss your court date, the court will likely issue a “failure to appear” notice that will be mailed to you. This notice will include instructions on what to do next. If you do not follow these instructions, the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest. The Division of Motor Vehicles will also be informed of the failure to appear notice. This often leads to the suspension of your driver’s license. Your failures to appear will also often show up on driving and criminal records, and they may be used against you if you ever have to appear for a detention hearing in a more serious case. Some of the most common tickets and motor vehicle offenses that require a court appearance include:
- Driving under the influence of Drugs
- Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle
- Reckless Driving
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident
You should also note that failing to pay parking tickets can also have serious consequences. If you have two or more tickets in a given jurisdiction, a warrant may be issued for your arrest. Even though this is highly common in densely populated cities like Hoboken, New Jersey takes parking tickets seriously. Furthermore, the registered owner of the vehicle that was subject to the tickets may lose their driver’s license. If the car is registered in your spouse’s, parent’s, or friend’s name, this can cause serious problems for both you and them.
Consequences of Failing to Appear for Municipal Court in Jersey City
If you fail to appear for a criminal court date, under certain circumstances, the court may hold the hearing without you. You may not have the opportunity to defend yourself as a result. Failure to appear in municipal court can be serious for additional reasons. You may lose your license and a warrant may be issued for your arrest. These warrants may later show up on background checks or may be used against you in bail hearings in the future. Some charges in municipal court that may lead to these troubles if you miss a court date include: shoplifting, marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, and simple assault.
What Penalties Will I Face for Failure to Appear in Hudson County Superior Court?
If you fail to appear in Superior Court in Hudson County or anywhere else in New Jersey, where indictable offenses are normally heard, penalties can be even stiffer. In addition to license suspension and the issuance of a warrant, you may potentially face a separate criminal offense or increased fines and other penalties if you are later found guilty of the original crime on which you were supposed to appear. It can also be difficult for you to walk in after failing to appear for a Superior Court date without facing incarceration based on your failure to appear. The court can also revoke your release from detention, probation, or any other special conditions that you were provided before you missed a court date.
Facing Charges & Missed a Required Court Date in NJ, What Should I Do?
If you had a required court appearance and missed the date for any reason, you should consult an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney right away. You may not even be aware of some of the consequences issued against you until you discover there’s a warrant for your arrest or your license has been suspended. Our lawyers can find out and deal with anything that has happened thus far and defend you against any and all of the charges you’re facing. Call (201) 793-8018 now to discuss your case.