In Connecticut, the courts take criminal charges for failure to appear very seriously. You risk severe consequences if you miss a court date, including a second run-in with the law and bail forfeiture.
However, life can be unpredictable, and sometimes circumstances can keep you from attending court. In this guide, our professional team at Connecticut Bail Bonds Group discusses the few valid excuses for missing a court date. We also outline the process for rescheduling a court date.
The Consequences of Missing a Court Date
Are you or a loved one out of jail on bail and facing a criminal charge? Under bail conditions, you must show up for all court dates, even if you believe you are innocent of the crime.
Failure to appear is an additional criminal charge to the one you are already facing, and it is a breach of bail. In other words, if you don’t go to court, you will lose the bail you posted to get out of jail.
If you miss a court date, a court may issue a Bail Commissioner’s Letter (BCL), a stern warning that you should appear on your next court date. This letter typically includes a time and date when you should be in court.
Failure to appear in court after receiving a BCL is a Class D felony if your first charge is a felony. Similarly, missing a hearing is a Class A misdemeanor if you must be in court on a misdemeanor charge.
Because missing a court date is a separate crime, the court will issue a warrant for the police to find you and rearrest you. You will also need to go through the bail process again. Only this time, the court will see you as a flight risk and increase your bail amount.
As you can see, you should avoid missing your court hearing at all costs. However, the court may allow you to reschedule a court date, provided that you have a valid reason.
Valid Reasons to Reschedule a Court Date
Can you reschedule a court date if you miss it? The answer to this question depends on whether your failure to appear was willful.
The court generally accepts lack of notice as a valid reason for failure to appear. If you don’t receive a summons to appear because of a mistake that the court made, you will be able to reschedule.
Note that an address change is not a valid excuse. If you move to a new home, you must notify the court that your address has changed.
Imprisonment is also a valid reason for rescheduling a court date. Suppose the police arrest a person while they are out on bail and detain them on the hearing date. In this case, the failure to appear is not willful, and the court will reschedule the court date.
Other reasons for missing a hearing that the court may accept include the following:
- Medical emergencies, such as a car accident or heart attack
- The death of someone in your immediate family
- A natural disaster
Suppose a lawyer withdraws from your case at the last minute and without notice. In this case, the court will likely agree to postpone the hearing.
Most excuses acceptable in everyday circumstances are not valid reasons for missing a court date. For example, if you missed a court date because you have a cold, forgot about the hearing, or overslept, you will likely face a criminal charge and bail forfeiture.
How to Request a Court Date To Be Rescheduled
This section discusses how to reschedule a court date. Ideally, you should consult with an attorney before requesting a postponement and file the request in advance.
The first step is calling the Superior Court’s case flow coordinator clerk. This official is responsible for all court case scheduling and will provide you with the forms and information you need to file the request.
Inform your bail bondsman of the request after filing the paperwork with the court clerk.
Did you miss the court date? Consult with an attorney and file the rescheduling request as soon as possible. The court may also provide another court date in the Bail Commissioner’s Letter.
Need Bail Bonds in Connecticut?
Do you need to post bail on behalf of a friend or family member in jail? At Connecticut Bail Bonds Group, we provide a 24/7 bail bond service to secure your loved one’s immediate release from jail. Please schedule a consultation with us today.
How to Reschedule a Court Date in Hartford, Connecticut
Connecticut Bail Bonds Group is located on 11 Asylum St, Suite 512, Hartford, CT. From Bradley International Airport (BDL) get on Bradley International Airport Con from Bradley International Airport, and head north toward Bradley International Airport. Then slight left onto Bradley International Airport, and continue straight. Next keep right to continue toward Bradley International Airport Con, and take I-91 S to State St in Hartford. Afterwards, take exit 31 from I-91 S, and continue onto Bradley International Airport Con. At this point continue onto CT-20 E/Bradley International Airport Con, and use the right 2 lanes to merge onto I-91 S toward Hartford. After that take exit 31 toward State Street, and continue on State St. Take Central Row to Asylum St. Next continue onto State St, and continue onto American Row. Then continue onto Central Row, and turn right onto Main St. Finally, turn left onto Asylum St, and Bradley International Airport will be on the left.
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