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What NOT to Do if You Miss Your Court Date

February 18, 2022 | Posted In Criminal Law |

When you find yourself involved in the New Jersey criminal court system, every action and decision may end up under the scrutiny and judgment of the court. Given the criminal court’s power and discretion over a criminal case’s outcome, it is incredibly risky and dangerous to show disrespect or a lack of seriousness toward the court. Courts are very busy and time is a precious commodity, so missing a court date is taken extremely seriously, and can even result in consequences as severe as facing additional legal charges.

If you’ve missed a court date, even without the intention of doing so, you may create a very strong and lasting negative impression on the court system and judge in your case. There are certain things that one should and should NOT do in the event that they miss a court date. Turn to a skilled and knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman who is prepared to provide you with a top-notch defense and inform you of the possibilities you may face if you’ve missed a court date.

DON’T Give the Court Weak Excuses - Take Responsibility

Even though you may have reasons or explanations for missing court that feel very valid and justified, short of an incapacitating medical emergency (such as being hospitalized), it is unlikely that the court or judge will have much sympathy for you. Courts give dates in advance, and it is not their responsibility to provide reminders or help defendants get organized.

While it is important to be humble and apologetic when admitting your error to the court, it is also important to keep a positive attitude and take responsibility for your actions. Take responsibility and explain how and why this will not happen again. Recognize that the court system has limited resources and missing your court date is not just inconsiderate, but also disruptive to the court’s efficiency and effectiveness in its operations. Missing a court date is unacceptable and an equally serious offense to all courts, from traffic court to criminal court.

DON’T Make Any Assumptions or Prepare for One Outcome

There is no guaranteed outcome for what will happen when you miss a court date. The totality of the circumstances involved in missing your court date will be taken into account when determining what consequences will be imposed as a result.

Below are some potential outcomes of missing your court date:

  • You may be charged a monetary fine
  • You may be charged with the offense of failure to appear
  • A warrant may be issued for your arrest

Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help 

Missing a criminal court date can cause many intense and stressful thoughts and feelings. However, the last thing you should ever do is run from them and not address the problem. If you missed a court date, immediately contact our New Jersey criminal defense lawyer to learn about the next steps you should take. Missing a court date is a serious setback, and is an entirely unnecessary and preventable problem. Our team will work together with you to help you navigate the consequences of your missed court date and ensure it does not happen again. Contact us now to get help and advice for your criminal case and missed court date.


Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in defending criminal cases as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.

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