I can’t be there at my court date! What do I do?
If you have an upcoming date in court for a misdemeanor criminal case, but you cannot appear on that date, what do you do? For example, let’s say you have a family vacation planned, booked and paid for months in advance, but now you’ve been accused of DUI, petty theft (shoplifting) or some other misdemeanor offense? Or what if you live out of state, but got in some trouble while in California?
Under the Penal Code [section 977(a)], I can appear on your behalf in court. Unless a judge specifically orders your to appear or the it is a domestic violence case, an attorney can appear on their clients’ behalf. If the case does involve domestic violence, then you are required to appear at the first appearance should restraining orders be issued so that you can be personally served with a copy by the bailiff.
I have handled many cases for clients that are out of state, either because they’re back home, in school or traveling. If you have an upcoming court date, don’t ignore it and try to fix it later. Things only get worse if you miss a court date. Warrants can be issued, fines increased and charges added.