Speak With A Lawyer At


Why blowing off your court date is a really bad idea

At Madigan and Scott, Inc., in Virginia, we understand that you may not take a traffic ticket too seriously, especially if you are a young person. You may just throw it in your glove compartment and forget about it or you may think that if you ignore it long enough it will just go away. In either case, however, if you forget or neglect to go to court on your appointed day, you could find yourself in big trouble.

As the Fairfax County District Court explains, when you fail to appear at your court hearing, the judge has two options: conduct your trial in your absence or issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

Trial in absentia

If the judge chooses to try your case even though you are not present in court, (s)he will listen to the testimony of the officer who issued you the traffic ticket, who is sure to be present. Based on the officer’s testimony, (s)he likely will find you guilty as charged and assess your fine and court costs, which are due within 30 calendar days.

Bench warrant

If the judge chooses to issue a bench warrant, i.e., a warrant from his or her judicial bench, for your arrest because you failed to appear, this information goes into both the court computer system and that of law enforcement as well. This means that officers can arrest you whenever and wherever they find you.

While it is unlikely that officers will come to your home or workplace to arrest you because you failed to appear in court for your traffic ticket, such a result is possible. The more likely scenario, however, is that officers will pull you over and arrest you when they notice that your license plate is that of someone against whom an outstanding warrant exists. On top of your other problems at that point, such as a harsher penalty than you would have received had you pleaded guilty to the traffic charge, you could also lose your driving privileges until you dispose of the underlying ticket.

For more information, please visit this page of our website. 





No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

contact a trusted legal team

Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

contact logo

Madigan and Scott, Inc.
7880 Backlick Road
Suite 2
Springfield, VA 22150

Phone: 703-455-1800
Fax: 703-451-4121
Springfield Family Law Office