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What Happens If You Fail to Appear in Court for a Traffic Ticket?

Updated: November 20, 2023
Nicholas G. Gounaris
By Nicholas G. Gounaris

Nicholas G. Gounaris is a skilled trial lawyer and founding partner of Gounaris Abboud law firm. He provides clients of the firm with competent legal representation and focuses his law practice in the areas of DUI Defense, Criminal Defense, Family Law Issues, Federal Criminal Law and Personal Injury cases.

Make Sure You Appear in Court If You Want to Avoid Additional Consequences

failure to appear in court

Woody Allen allegedly said that 90% of life is just showing up. Judges in Ohio traffic courts require 100% attendance — showing up 9 out 10 times won’t cut it.

You could be in a lot of trouble if you miss your speeding ticket court appearance.

Missing your court date is never a good thing. Even in times of a global pandemic, you need to appear in court.

Not only will you lose your ticket appeal, but the judge might also issue a warrant for your arrest, assess costs against you, and even suspend your license.

What should you do if you can’t make your court appearance for a speeding ticket or another moving infraction? The traffic defense lawyers with Gounaris Abboud can help you with your traffic ticket defense. They can go to traffic court with you — or for you — and protect your rights.

Contact us online or call (937) 222-1515 today for a free consultation.

Why It’s Imperative That You Go to Court

You have the right to fight your speeding ticket or other traffic offense in court. These crimes are referred to as minor misdemeanors. You can pay the ticket — thereby admitting guilt — and avoid going to court.

However, there are consequences that stem from accumulating too many traffic tickets. For example, the state could suspend your driver’s license.

Additionally, your insurance company could increase your coverage rates or drop you altogether. Moreover, if you have a commercial driver’s license, the state could revoke your ability to make a living by driving. Therefore, it makes sense to fight a traffic offense to protect your driving record as well as your way of life.

You can go to court to contest the traffic violation allegations if you want. You must appear in court at the date and time the court assigns to you. You have the chance to plead not guilty and have a trial.

Keep in mind, that you have a legal obligation to appear in court if the police charge you with a felony or misdemeanor traffic crime. Traffic crimes carry the possibility of going to jail. You must appear at your arraignment date and trial date; otherwise, the court can take matters into its own hands.

Consequences for Missing Court When Your Speeding Ticket Court Appearance Is Required

Traffic courts are busy. They don’t have the luxury of wasting time processing your case and then putting the resources into it if you don’t show up. The time courts spend on your case is time spent away from someone else’s.

Additionally, the prosecution has to call witnesses to come to court for your trial. This costs the state money. Consequently, magistrates and judges can punish you for not appearing.

The court can enter a default finding on your docket if you don’t come to court. If you have minor misdemeanor traffic charges, then the judge will find you guilty and order you to pay the fine and associated fees.

However, the court will issue a bench warrant for you if you have criminal offenses on your ticket. Having a bench warrant lodged against you means that you are subject to arrest when you’re in public.

What are the implications of having a bench warrant out against you? Having a warrant is no way to live. The police can arrest you any time they encounter you.

You might think you can avoid the police, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. If you are involved in a fender-bender, get stopped for a traffic offense, or have to call the police if you witness a crime, then you will be arrested. Police often “run” your information when they learn your name.

They have to arrest you if the court issues a warrant for your apprehension.

You will be brought to court after your arrest if the court is open at that time. If not, you might have to post bond if you are eligible.

If you can’t post bond, then you could end up staying in jail until the next time court opens. Therefore, you could spend an entire weekend in jail awaiting your court appearance all because you didn’t go to court when you should have.

Additional Consequences for Missing a Court Appearance for a Speeding Ticket

Can you imagine your life if a police officer threw the cuffs on you and took you to jail because you missed a court appearance? How would you explain your arrest to your family?

What would you say to your boss? You might be embarrassed, especially if you’ve never been in trouble before. Don’t let this happen to you.

How Can Gounaris Abboud Help?

Gounaris Abboud’s defense attorneys can help you in a variety of ways. First, you can lean on our tremendous experience to help you out of a jam. As we’ve discussed, there are many reasons why you might want to fight a speeding ticket.

Gounaris Abboud’s defense lawyers appear in traffic courts in Ohio regularly. We can appear on your behalf and may be able to get your ticket cleared up. If the court insists that you personally appear for your hearing, then Gounaris Abboud’s ticket defense lawyers can ask for another date if you can’t come to court for a valid reason.

We can argue your case for you and give you the best possible chance to win your ticket appeal.

Contact Gounaris Abboud Today for Further Information About What Happens If You Fail to Appear in Court for a Traffic Ticket

Call Gounaris Abboud today at (937) 222-1515 or send an online message to learn more about how we can protect your rights. We offer free consultations.

Our award-winning traffic ticket defense lawyers have the experience and knowledge you need to win your traffic ticket case.

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