Missing a court date, whether intentional or not, can carry serious consequences, including additional fines, revocation of your driver’s license, issuance of an order for your arrest, and/or forfeiture of your bond.
If you miss a court date in Wake County, your name is called in the courtroom and you fail to appear, this is known as being “called and failed”. This information is entered into the court system. If you fail to show up within 20 days after you are called and failed, a failure to appear, or FTA, will be entered for your case.
Called and Failed & FTA
Once you have missed your scheduled court date, you will have 20 days to appear and obtain a new court date. If after 20 days you do not obtain a new court date, a Failure to Appear will be entered and reported to the NC DMV. The DMV will send a letter notifying you that your license will be revoked if the matter is not handled within 60 days from the FTA. The DMV may revoke your license indefinitely for failure to appear or failure to pay court costs/fines. Your license will remain suspended until the underlying charge is resolved in court.
Consequences of a Failure to Appear
Not only are there DMV consequences of a FTA, there is also a $200 fee. (Not including any late fees or license reinstatement fees.) Depending on the severity of the original charge, you also run the risk of having an order for your arrest issued. For minor traffic infraction, such as speeding, the consequences of missing court end with the DMV and payment penalties. For more serious driving offenses such as Driving While Impaired (DWI) or Driving While License Revoked (DWLR) and all other misdemeanor or felony charges, failing to appear for court will likely result in the issuing of an order for your arrest. Depending on the nature of the charge, the order for arrest may even be issued the same day you missed court. This is why it is important to act quickly if you miss your court date.
Order for Arrest
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office may come to your home or place of work to arrest you, or you may be stopped for making a minor traffic violation and the officer could see the order for your arrest. Once arrested, you will likely be required to post a bond in order to ensure your appearance at a later court date. If you are already under a bond and fail to appear for court, your bond may be forfeited, and you could be charged with a criminal offense.
How to Handle a Failure to Appear?
If you have just missed court or you have received a letter from the DMV about the suspension of your license, you should hire a skilled attorney to assist you with your failure to appear. They can advise you of the exact nature and consequences pursuant to your particular case. The consequences of missing a court date can be substantial and start a negative spiral of events. If you’ve missed court in Wake County, North Carolina contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel immediately at (919) 585-1486 for a free consultation. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can advise you how to best minimize the consequences of failing to appear for court. Oftentimes, we are able to eliminate the consequences entirely by having a judge strike the FTA and order for arrest. Usually, the cost of retaining our services is less than the cost of posting a bond and could save you the unnecessary embarrassment of being arrested.