14 Jun The Consequences of a Missed Court Date for a Traffic Ticket in Oklahoma
It may seem like a minor offense, missing a traffic court date, but it can lead to serious consequences that may impact your legal standing, your finances, and even your daily life. Often underestimated and overlooked, a missed court date could spiral into a series of unfortunate events, from a simple fine to a potential arrest warrant. In this post, we’ll unpack the repercussions of failing to show up to a traffic court hearing in Oklahoma, outlining the potential pitfalls and how to navigate through them.
When Do You Get a Court Date After Receiving a Traffic Ticket?
In Oklahoma, after you receive a traffic ticket (also called a citation), the process generally unfolds as follows:
- Issuance of the Traffic Citation: A law enforcement officer will issue you a citation for the alleged traffic violation. This document includes important information such as the nature of the violation, the date and location of the incident, and most importantly, the court date and location where you’re expected to appear.
- Decision to Contest or Pay: After receiving the citation, you have two main options: (a) Pay the fine directly, essentially pleading guilty or no contest to the violation, or (b) Plead not guilty and contest the violation in court. The back of your citation will usually detail how to go about both these options.
- Court Appearance (If Contesting the Ticket): If you decide to contest the citation, your appearance in court is mandatory on the specified court date. The court’s address will be listed on the citation. If you fail to appear on the court date, this can lead to additional charges, fines, or even a warrant for your arrest. This is where hiring an attorney to help represent you on your traffic citation is beneficial.
Note that the exact procedure may vary depending on the specific traffic violation and local jurisdiction within Oklahoma. If you’re unsure about the process or if your case is complicated, it may be beneficial to consult with a legal professional or attorney who specializes in traffic law.
What Are the Consequences of Missing Your Court Date?
Missing a court date for a traffic ticket in Oklahoma can lead to serious consequences, which can include the following:
- Additional Fines: The court may impose an additional fine for failing to appear (FTA) on top of the original traffic citation fine. This can significantly increase the overall financial burden.
- • License Suspension: The court may notify the Department of Public Safety (DPS) about your failure to appear, which can result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
- Warrant for Arrest: The judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest due to your failure to appear. This means law enforcement can arrest you at anytime, not only when you are driving.
- • Increase in Insurance Premiums: An FTA, along with the underlying traffic violation, may also impact on your auto insurance rates, causing them to increase significantly.
- Criminal Charges: In some cases, especially for serious traffic violations, failing to appear in court can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, which carry their own set of penalties including potential jail time.
If you realize that you have missed your court date, it’s important to act promptly. Contact the court as soon as possible to explain the situation and seek legal counsel if necessary. A legal professional can guide you on the best course of action to mitigate the consequences.
Hiring an Attorney
Navigating the legal landscape of traffic violations can be a complex and daunting task. Hiring an attorney with experience in traffic law can be a wise investment, offering valuable guidance and potentially reducing the penalties you might face. However, it’s important to remember that not all attorneys will accept a case where a court date has been missed. Which is why it is best to stay on top of the ticket deadlines, preventing a missed court date and further complications. Attorney representation often depends on the specifics of your situation, the severity of the violation, and potential legal complexities. It’s crucial to communicate openly about your circumstances from the outset, allowing both you and the attorney to make an informed decision. In conclusion, while dealing with traffic tickets may seem straight forward, having professional legal advice can make a significant difference, providing clarity and peace of mind in a typically stressful situation.
If you are needing representation on a traffic citation, call OK Traffic Ticket Defense at (918) 947-9225, for a free consultation today!