A capias warrant is a bench warrant for your arrest. The judge would issue a capias warrant if you failed to appear at a court hearing in a misdemeanor or felony case.
You face harsh consequences if a capias warrant is issued. However, you may be able to take proactive actions that will help you avoid the additional penalties of missing your scheduled court hearing.
What Penalties Could You Face for Failing to Appear?
It is a criminal offense to fail to attend a court hearing in a criminal case in Virginia. Your bond could be revoked and you may have to remain in jail until your criminal case is decided.
You could also be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia Code §19.2-128 if you failed to attend a hearing in a misdemeanor case, such as reckless driving, DUI, or hit and run accident. In addition to the punishments for the original crime you were arrested for committing, you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
If you missed a hearing in a felony case, you could be charged with a Class 6 felony. The sentence could include one to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
What Steps Can You Take If You Missed Your Court Hearing?
You may be able to minimize the consequences you face if you failed to appear at a court hearing. Two important steps you should take include:
- Retain an attorney. If you have not already hired an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you should do so right away. An attorney can raise your defenses to the criminal charges you face and to the capias warrant that was issued against you. They will also have other strategies that may result in the capias warrant charges being dismissed.
- Go to court. If at all possible, you should go to the courthouse on the same day as your hearing if you realize that you missed it. The judge could withdraw the bench warrant if you go to the court and explain what happened. Your lawyer can advise if this would be an effective strategy in the court where your criminal case is being heard.
Have you been charged with a crime in Virginia? Did you miss your court hearing? Our knowledgeable criminal defense team is here to explain your options and aggressively defend you. To schedule your free consultation, fill out our convenient online form today.