I Missed Court, What Do I Do?

We get it. There are all kinds of reasons you may have missed your court date on a misdemeanor or felony charge: car broke down; had to work; kid was sick; you were in the hospital; you did not have transportation; or you just plain forgot. But that does not mean the court will let you off that easy, and likely, they will issue a warrant for your failure to appear for court. If it is a felony case, the prosecutor may even issue a new felony charge of bail jumping, KRS 520.070, which is a Class D felony with a potential of 1 to 5 years in prison. There are defenses, since bail jumping requires "intentionally fails to appear at that time and place" as ordered by the court and "In any prosecution for bail jumping, the defendant may prove in exculpation that his failure to appear was unavoidable and due to circumstances beyond his control." So it is all about intent. Now, that is for felonies, and for misdemeanors, it is a little less stringent. In either case, if a warrant is issued, your attorney may be able to negotiate to have the warrant quashed with prosecutor, or may be able to file a motion to quash the warrant and have a hearing on that. Regardless, do not screw around or wait if you missed court. The quicker you get back into court, the less severe the penalties. The more you delay getting back into court because you fear going to jail, the worse the outcome will be. So contact your attorney as soon as you are able after you missed court. Your attorney may be able to negotiate and keep you out of jail.

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