When you miss a criminal or traffic court date, you will either be
tried in your absence or an arrest warrant will be issued for your
failure to appear. To find out which, call that court's Clerk's Office
or visit the Virginia Courts Website where you can look up your own case information.
Regardless of what happened in your absence, you may want an attorney to
help you understand your options going forward. The following are some
of the possibilities:
There is a right to appeal General District Court decisions to the corresponding Circuit Court. Appeals must be filed in person or by an attorney and must be filed within 10 days of the date of conviction.
Motion to Rehear
There is no right to a rehearing. These motions are wholly at the
judge's discretion and are commonly denied. A Motion to Rehear must be
filed within 60 days of conviction. Filing such a motion does not extend the 10 day time limit for appeals.
If the motion is granted, a new trial will be scheduled. If the motion is denied, the conviction remains final.
If an arrest warrant has been issued, there are steps that can be taken
to avoid making things worse, such as a motion to withdraw the warrant.
It is best to contact an attorney who can help protect your rights in such a circumstance.
Failure to promptly address your failure to appear in court can result
in a harsher penalty, damage to your credibility, arrest, license
suspension, and more. As time passes your options become increasingly
limited so it is important not to delay.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any
individual case or situation. The information throughout this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this
information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
Content copyright . Woolley Stout & Garin, PLLC. All rights reserved.