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What if you miss your DWI court date?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Drunk driving is a serious offense with severe personal and legal implications. A DWI conviction can hang over your head for the rest of your life. 

If the police are convinced that you are drunk behind the wheel, they will formally charge you with driving while intoxicated. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the court may release you on bail so you do not spend time in prison while your case is being litigated. 

But what happens if you do not show up in court when you are required to do so?

The consequences of skipping your date with the court

Whether it is your first or fourth DWI, the judge expects you to take your court date seriously. Missing court without justification can hurt your case in a variety of ways. 

The judge will want to find out whether or not there were extenuating circumstances that hindered you from appearing. If not, they may issue a bench warrant against you. This warrant empowers law enforcement to arrest you. In other words, an active bench warrant means that you could be arrested at any moment regardless of the circumstances. This can happen during a traffic stop, at work or at home. Clearly, you do not want to live with this kind of stress. 

You may face additional charges 

Missing court could lead to additional legal troubles. Failing to appear is, in and of itself, a criminal offense. Thus, you may be charged with “contempt of court” or “failure to appear.” And this has its share of potential penalties. 

Missing court is a big deal. If you had valid reasons for doing so, like an emergency medical situation, then you need to explore your defense options.