Let's talk about what happens if you miss a court date in your felony case. What is going to happen if you no-show to court?
If you are supposed to be in court and you do not show up the judge is going to issue a warrant for your arrest. After that, the sheriff's office is going to arrest you on that warrant at some point, whether it happens immediately or not. They will arrest you on that.
Your chances of getting a bond after you've been arrested on a bench warrant are very slim because the purpose of a bond is to make sure that you come back to court to resolve your case.
If we're asking the court for a bond again, after you miss court, the prosecutor has an easy argument. “Judge, we already gave a bond, and the purpose of that bond is to ensure that the defendant comes back to court and he or she didn't come back.”
It's very difficult for us to respond to that. There must be some compelling reason for why you missed court after a court date is missed. Sometimes those reasons exist and sometimes they do not. But it is very important to show up to court.
An important tip for avoiding a bench warrant is that if you move after you've been arrested, update your address with the clerk of court's office. If you have a felony case, go to that superior court where you're arrested, update your address with the Superior Court clerk's office so that you get notices of your court date. Also, if you have an attorney, your attorney will get notices of those dates. So if you change your phone number or your email address, make sure you update them with that information. And that will help keep you from getting arrested on a bench warrant.
At our office, we have a system of automated text messages that are delivered to our clients leading up to their court date to make sure they don't miss a court date.