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What if I missed my court date in Austin?

What if I missed my court date in Austin?

If you missed your court date there is a very good chance that a warrant was issued for your arrest due to the failure to appear.  When you do not show and answer, the judge will have the bailiff to call your name before the end of the day's docket.  When the bailiff reports no answer, the court will ask the prosecutor “if they have a motion?”  The prosecutor responds by asking for a forfeiture of your bond and a capias or warrant for your arrest. 

So if you missed your court date in Austin you need to do a few things.  First call the court's coordinator or administrator and explain that you missed your court date and that you would like to come in ASAP to make sure that the judge has not issued a warrant for your arrest.  If the warrant was already issued, ask if the court could recall the warrant and just issue a summons to appear at a new date.  Be gracious and focus on being nice so they will help you as opposed to having an attitude and blaming others.  Life happens and people forget and make mistakes, but don't think that you can just decide when you want to go to court or not. You should also call your lawyer, and explain that you missed court. 

Some people never do follow up with the case thinking it will just go away.  However, the case will not go away.  Depending on the seriousness of your charge, you might be pulled out of your house early one morning or eventually pulled over for a traffic offense only to be arrested on the warrant.  It is always going to be better to take care of it sooner than later.  While prosecutors can file additional criminal charges of bail jumping and seek forfeiture of your bond, it is best to act quickly to reduce those risks. 

Where Do I find the Court Coordinator's phone number?

You will need to search for the court by looking up the contact information for the court where your case is assigned.  Go to the Travis County, Texas courts website at https://www.traviscountytx.gov/courts - if your charge is a felony, click the links for the Criminal District Courts, but if your charge is misdemeanor look at the Criminal County Court links for your particular County Court at Law.  After clicking the link on the court, you will see the court staff and their contact information.

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