What is Considered a Valid Excuse for Missing a Court Date in Florida?
If you have been told to appear in court, it is best to consider it a demand andnot a suggestion. While there are times when it is not mandatory that you actually appear in court, like a minor traffic ticket that can just be paid, most of the time it is in your best interest to show up at your court date. Failure to show up to a court date in Florida could have some negative repercussions that are worse than enduring a court hearing.
The Umansky Law Firm has provided information on valid excuses for missing a court date in Florida. While it is still recommended that you attend your court date if possible, there are a few instances where you may be able to get a pass.
Is it Bad to Miss a Court Date?
You may have an upcoming court date for a multitude of reasons. Maybe you were driving 30 miles or more over the speeding limit, or you could have been caught with an open container on a beach vacation. Whatever the reason, if you receive a ticket or citation stating that you must appear in court, it is a severe demand. It may seem like a simple piece of paper, but choosing to ignore it could result in serious consequences. If you fail to miss court without a valid reason, you will be issued something called a bench warrant.
What are Valid Excuses for Missing Court?
If you have been told that you must appear in court, several excuses could pardon you until you can reschedule a court date. The following list will detail each of the valid excuses that grant you a pass in Florida:
Lack of Notice
Obviously, you will not know to show up to court if no one told you that you were supposed to be there. A court date is only valid if both you and your attorney have received notice of it. If you do not have an attorney, the court will mail you the notice, but it is up to you to provide them with the correct mailing address. If you failed to do this, then you’re still at fault if you never receive the notice. If it is up to the opposing team to send you notice and they fail to do so, that may constitute a viable excuse as well.
If you find yourself stuck in a circumstance out of your control, then you will have a valid excuse for missing your court date. If it is possible, it is always best to call the court before you miss your date to inform them of the extraneous circumstances. Some of these emergency situations may include the following:
- Being sent to the emergency room for a sudden condition that renders you debilitated
- Having your child fall extremely ill or injured
- Being involved in any type of motor vehicle accident
- Being kidnapped
- Having your flight canceled if you are traveling to court from another state
- Experiencing the sudden death of an immediate family member
Each of these excuses should render you blameless if you have to miss a court date in Florida, but it is always wise to consult with a legal professional to make sure.
What Happens If I Miss Court and Am Issued a Bench Warrant?
If you have missed court without a valid reason, then you have likely received a bench warrant. Receiving a bench warrant is much like having a warrant out for your arrest. If the police find you while there is a bench warrant out for you, you will be arrested and likely taken to jail overnight until you can be taken before a judge. A bench warrant, while not outwardly dangerous, isn’t something you want to evade. If there is a bench warrant in your name, something as simple as a routine traffic stop could resurface the warrant and result in jail time.
Get Professional Help from Skilled Orlando Law Firm
If you have missed your court date without a valid excuse, you will likely need the help of a legal professional. The Umansky Law Firm believes that one mistake should not be the downfall of any of their clients. For a consultation, get in touch with us by clicking here or calling us.