Tuesday, August 17, 2010

'WHAT IF I DON'T SHOW UP FOR COURT?": BOND FORFEITURE WARRANTS

Recently you were arrested under Illinois criminal law. That was bad enough, but now you figure there is no point in going to court. After all, you would miss time at work, and since you’re guilty anyway, why should you bother? Or maybe you have been going to court, but something came up and you couldn’t make the last court date or you simply forgot about it.

What can happen to you and what can you do?

In most Cook County criminal cases such as at the Skokie, Rolling Meadows and Maywood courthouses, attendance at court dates is mandatory. Failing to show up for court is a serious matter with serious consequences. The judge can issue a “bond forfeiture warrant.” That means any bond you may have posted will now belong to the State. Additionally, the court has now issued a warrant for your arrest.

If you did miss court, however, there is still hope. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can bring a motion before the court to vacate the bond forfeiture/warrant so that the new arrest warrant will be quashed and you can continue to defend your case under the old warrant. Be warned, however, that judges only have so much patience. If you continually miss court dates, it may be difficult to vacate a warrant if it becomes a habit.

If you missed a court date for a speeding ticket or other traffic offense, the court can find you guilty in your absence. You may be able to get the judgment against you vacated and make an appearance on your ticket. An experienced attorney can greatly assist you.

If you have an outstanding warrant for a criminal offense or if you missed a traffic ticket date, please feel free to contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or matt@mattkeenanlaw.com for assistance.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves clients in the communities of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Palatine, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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