Most traffic violations require that you make an appearance in a court when you don’t plead guilty and pay your fine. Sometimes these are mere moving violations but they include more serious charges, like DWI or reckless driving. Some people ignore a summons because they have not received a notice in the mail, or they live in another state. One might ask, how can they compel my appearance? They’re not going to drag people off in handcuffs, right? Unfortunately, state & local governments take missed court appearances extremely seriously, and failing to appear in court can transform a minor moving violation into a legal disaster.
The range of things that may happen to an individual if they ignore a court date are numerous and extremely serious. First, there is a real possibility of having one’s license suspended. Yes, you heard that correctly –a judge has authority to suspend your license and make it illegal for you to operate a vehicle. If you decide to ignore that and are caught driving while suspended you can be charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the 3rd Degree which is a crime.
In some cases, the option of being dragged off in handcuffs – alluded to earlier – becomes a real possibility. Skipping a court appearance can lead to an arrest warrant in more serious cases.
One final consequence of skipping a court date is increased fines & fees. Once DMV suspends the person’s license for failure to answer a ticket or appear in court, the person will have to pay a suspension termination fee of $70 per ticket just to have their case heard. It tends to cost more than just showing up and paying fines and can lead to some hefty charges. Having a license suspended is also a major hassle and will drain precious time, money and energy. In the end, showing up to court – and even better, hiring an attorney to do so on your behalf – is the least time-consuming option. Hiring an attorney at the beginning of your case can save you a lot of unnecessary legal problems and ensure that you get the best results in your case.
If you find yourself in legal trouble because of a skipped court appearance, or if you are concerned because of your driving history, a consultation with a legal expert is highly recommended. The Rosenblum Law Firm features a staff of lawyers well acquainted with the traffic laws in New York State, and they are capable of helping you find the best solution to your legal issues. Call us today for a free consultation.