Failing to appear in a Colorado criminal court can have serious consequences. It’s considered contempt of court.
When you are found in contempt for failure to appear or failure to pay a fine, a judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest, and any bail or bail collateral you provided will be forfeited. The warrant authorizes the police to apprehend you, and it also empowers a bondsman to arrest you. Once you have been apprehended, it’s unlikely that you will be granted bail.
Even if the offense you’ve been charged with is not that serious and you fail to appear or fail to pay a fine, there could still be adverse consequences. The warrant will not go away automatically. It will continue to be active, and the existence of the warrant means that a routine traffic stop for any reason could land you in jail. The warrant will be reported to the Colorado DMV and your driver’s license could be suspended.
What’s the best thing you can do if you have missed a court date? The answer is to see a defense lawyer as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to resolve your problem.
Your lawyer will review your situation and decide how to best address the problem. You may have inadvertently missed a court appearance. You may have misread the date of the hearing. Maybe you panicked and made an unwise decision to lay low or leave the state. In these or other situations, your lawyer may be able to resolve your problem without any additional penalty. If you are currently in another state, it may even be possible to resolve the problem without having to appear in court.