If you have missed court, there may be a bench warrant for your arrest. The Crown, and the Court, have limited recourse if you missed your court appearance, which include, either a bench summons, an adjournment to another court appearance, or a bench warrant.
If you do not attend court, you can be charged with a criminal offence. If convicted, you can be sentenced up to 2 years in prison. If you missed court, you should contact an experienced defence counsel as they may be able to correspond with the Crown in order to bring your matter before the court without you being charged with a new criminal offence.
How do I Defend my Failure to Appear in Court?
Depending on the reasons for missing court, your background, or the jurisdiction, the Crown may decide to not proceed and withdraw the charge. This happens regularly since there are many reasonable explanations as to why you may have missed your court date.
At a trial, after the Crown has proven that you failed to appear in court, you can present a lawful excuse for why you missed your court appearance. You forgot about the court date is one example of a lawful excuse, or sickness when supported by medical evidence.
What Can I Do if I Cannot Attend my Court Appearance?
There are a few options available if you are unable to attend your court date: i) retain a lawyer who can appear on your behalf; ii) contact duty counsel to appear on your behalf; or iii) contact the Crown’s office and determine if they will adjourn your matter on your behalf.
I Need a Lawyer Since I Missed Court
You may need to surrender to deal with the outstanding bench warrant. An experienced criminal lawyer can coordinate with the police about the bench warrant and arrange your surrender if that is required. Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh is experienced working with individuals who have missed their court appearance. We coordinate with the police and the Court to avoid our clients having to surrender, but if they must surrender, we ensure they receive bail the same date. If you have missed court, contact Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh at 416-613-0416.