Se Habla Español 973.889.0900

Why It's NOT a Good Idea to Blow Off Court

I've been doing criminal defense work a fairly long time: about 15 years. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how clients can simply not show up for court. Just not a good idea.

I went to Morris County Superior Court this morning for a client charged with Possession of Oxycontin and Possession with Intent to Distribute, both very serious charges which expose him to prison time. Although he did appear in court the last time and was handed a Notice to Appear by the court staff, he just didn't show up today. As a result, the judge issued a Bench Warrant for his arrest. If he has ANY chance meetings with the police (including a traffic stop), he's going to get arrested and put in the county jail.

Additionally, his cell phone is now apparently disconnected, so there is no way for me to call him and let him know he's in trouble. Sure! Why tell your lawyer that you have a new phone number!?

How can you forget a date in Superior Court?! I mean, criminal court leaves a fairly strong impression. There are lots of people, lawyers, sheriff's officers, a guy sitting up on high who wears a black robe, etc. I just don't see it.

Categories: