In Washington, DC, missing a required court date is a serious offense. Failing to appear before a DC court when summoned to do so will result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest. If you are facing one of these charges, a criminal defense attorney can help guide you through the complexities of the legal system. En Español.
Even if you are eventually acquitted of the crime with which you are charged, or if your case is dismissed, you could still face the criminal penalties associated with failing to appear. If you believe you have a bench warrant against you for failure to appear in court, discussing the matter with your criminal lawyer can help ensure you take a proactive approach and work to quash or appear on the bench warrant before your arrest.
When Failure to Appear is Charged
There are a number of situations which can result in a bench warrant being issued for failure to appear. Often, failure to pay a traffic fine or appear before the court on a traffic violation will result in a charge of failure to appear in Washington, DC. Failure to appear for traffic offenses can lead to a suspended driver’s license. If you are pulled over for a minor traffic offense and you have an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, you can be immediately arrested and held in custody.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Washington, DC and you have been released on bail, your failure to appear before the court will result in the forfeiture of your bond and additional criminal charges. If you do not work to resolve your failure to appear charges, it is possible you will remain in police custody through the resolution of your case.
A DC Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you are charged with a crime or traffic offense in Washington, DC, it is important to be vigilant about keeping all of your court dates. Missing a court date only compounds your legal troubles with a failure to appear charge. If you have an outstanding bench warrant, or if you have recently missed a court date and are concerned about the consequences of your action, be sure to keep your lawyer informed. Your DC criminal lawyer will take a proactive approach to handling your charge for failure to appear and will work closely with you to be sure you understand and meet all future court obligations.
For additional info about these laws, please refer to the District of Columbia Official Code here.