Failure to appear in court can lead to your arrest and incarceration. If you cannot appear in Municipal Court, do as many of the following as soon as you can:
- If you are a witness, and were subpoenaed or asked to appear by the prosecuting attorney, call the prosecuting attorney. When you call, be sure to have the case number from the subpoena, if you have one.
- If you are a witness, and were subpoenaed or asked to appear by the defense attorney, call the defense attorney. When you call, be sure to have the case number from the subpoena, if you have one.
- If you are a defendant or a party to a case and have an attorney representing you, call the attorney as soon as you know you cannot appear as scheduled.
- If you are a defendant or a party to a case and do not have an attorney representing you, call the clerk which handles your type of case, found on the contacts page. Explain why you cannot appear. Please be aware that an arrest warrant may still be issued for your failure to appear, even if you call the clerk or the bailiff.
- Unless your attorney tells you otherwise, send a relative or a trusted friend to appear in court and explain why you cannot appear. Be sure your friend or relative knows where you are supposed to appear and how to contact you in case a question arises. Again, a warrant may still be issued for your failure to appear.
Please keep in mind that the Judge decides whether an arrest warrant is issued for your failure to appear, whether you are granted a continuance, or whether some other action is taken because you failed to appear. In appropriate cases, sanctions for failure to appear may include a person being prohibited from getting a driver's license, license plates or transferring a vehicle. Taking some action to inform court authorities you cannot appear will almost certainly be better than doing nothing at all. Please note that a request for a continuance must be in writing and may be sent as a fax to 330-335-2723.