If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia, you may have to appear in court to enter a plea. While showing up might sound simple enough, people still miss their court dates. They lose track of time, forget or underestimate how important it is. Missing a court date, however, can do more than delay your DUI case.
Skipping court dates won’t make the problem go away
The first court date after a DUI arrest is the arraignment. Sometimes, people can’t attend a court date due to work or an emergency. Other times, they forgot or did not know about the consequences.
In Georgia, intentionally skipping a court date can be a huge mistake. The court expects you to show up when scheduled. If you are a no-show, the court will mark your absence as a failure to appear (FTA), possibly making your situation even more difficult.
First, a judge could issue a bench warrant for your arrest. This goes on your criminal record and authorizes police officers to arrest you. Though the cops may not actively seek you out, if they happen to pull you over, the warrant allows them to take you to jail immediately.
Two, you could lose your driving privileges. To lift your license suspension, you’d need to pay a fine, file paperwork and apply for reinstatement at the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). Some courts may require an appearance as well.
What to do if you miss a court date
If you missed your court date, you should contact the court and reschedule as soon as possible. The more you procrastinate, the bigger problems you could have.
Unfortunately, some people don’t realize they have a court date or FTA until it’s too late. You may want to speak with an attorney if it has been weeks since your court date or if you did not address your FTA immediately. A DUI attorney can help you avoid missing any more critical deadlines and set things straight.