What Can I Do If I Didn’t Get the Court Summons and Now There’s a Warrant For My Arrest?
When there is a case pending against an accused, the court will notify them of the charge and ask them to show up in court by means of court summons. If the accused does not appear on the dates indicated, a judge will issue a warrant for their arrest.
While the process seems simple and straightforward, there are a lot of things that can go wrong from the point the court summons are sent out. There are many cases wherein court summons are sent to the wrong address and hence are not being received by the accused.
Where Court Summons Are Sent
A court sends out summons by certified mail to the accused’s last known address or the address indicated on the police report. Upon receipt, the accused should sign for it, indicating that they have received the court summons.
If they don’t, however, the mail will go back to the court as undeliverable. At this point, the court will issue a warrant for the person’s arrest and set a bond.
What To Do If You Did Not Receive Court Summons and There’s a Warrant For Your Arrest
If an accused never received summons to appear in court and learns that they have a warrant out for their arrest, the first thing they should do is contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can help them deal with the issue.
A lawyer will help file a motion to quash the warrant of arrest and appear in court with the accused. When the court sees that they did not, in fact, receive the summons and is voluntarily coming forward, the judge will quash the warrant and set a new court date without taking the accused into custody.
What If You Don’t Do Anything About It?
If the accused does not come forward and file a motion to quash, the warrant will still be valid and effective until the accused is caught and held in custody. No one wants to sit around knowing they have a warrant out for their arrest, so at the earliest possible opportunity, it’s important to engage the help of a criminal attorney to resolve the issue.