For whatever reason, you find yourself missing a court date. Maybe you wrote down the wrong information. Maybe you fell extremely ill or you lost a family member. Whatever the tragedy or inconvenience was, you still need to figure out where to go from there.
While some states will give you leeway in the form of a 20 day window to report to your city hall and request a new court date, that is not the case for all of them.
Laurie Poole, a bail bondsman in Oklahoma, has been running her own OKC bail bonds business long enough to know that the state of Oklahoma is one of the states with less flexibility. In other words, failure to show up for a court date in Oklahoma – whether it is an arraignment, preliminary hearing, trial date, or any other form of court summons – is a criminal infraction.
This means that besides whatever charges you are already facing, you will most likely get more. In addition to that consequence, a judge will probably also issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
Because of the bench warrant, you have the chance of getting arrested at literally any moment. You could be reading this blog post while an officer gets in his car to come and arrest you. Whether you are obtained via a traffic stop or in the public surroundings of your work or school does not matter because the outcome is the same: you are incarcerated with additional charges to the ones you already had.
That is more of a step back than a step forward – or even standing in place. As an OKC bail bondsman, Laurie Poole is more accurate than not when it comes to the information she has on all Oklahoma failed court appearance situations. This is why she stresses to anyone in the misfortunate situation the importance of turning yourself in.
If you realize you have missed a court date, the worst thing you can do is not surrender. The chance of you escaping the situation with minimal consequences is more likely if you are upfront and honest about the situation from the get-go. If you do not surrender, you are looking at the following possibilities:
- Increased bond
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Denial of bond
- Revocation of own recognizance bond
In addition to turning yourself in, you should also contact both a lawyer and a bail bondsman the second you get the chance. There is always the possibility that you can avoid arrest if you work with legal figures to get you on the right path. In the end, you are better off doing everything in your power to remember your court dates to avoid this situation in the first place.
Laurie Poole has enough experience working with her clients while operating as an Oklahoma bail bondsman that she knows how simple it truly is to not miss a court date. Set reminders. Write things down. If you care about your future, you will show it by caring about where you spend it (or where you do not).