What Happens If You Miss Court?


Once a court date is missed, it is important to know what the consequences are and what to do next. Questions arise such as: is there a warrant for your arrest, is a new time-limit placed on your case, and what other factors may affect the outcome of your case?

What generally happens in North Carolina when you miss court for an infraction?

  • The court will mark your case as, “called and failed”. This means you or your attorney has twenty (20) days to re-calendar the case.
  • If the case is not re-calendared in the set time frame, the court will issue what is known as a, “failure to appear” or “FTA”.
  • This FTA carries with it an automatic suspension of your driver’s license which survives until the matter is closed or the FTA is stricken, and comes with a $200.00 fine.

What happens when you miss court for a misdemeanor or felony charge?

  • The court will mark your case as, “called and failed,” similar to an infraction.
  • The court will also issue an Order for your Arrest or OFA. This OFA is a new warrant for your arrest.
  • The judge will issue a new bond in your case.
  • The judge will issue a bond forfeiture in the matter. This means that you give up the bond that you have already paid, or if you used a bondsman it gives them a short period of time to either; turn you in, or pay the bond in full.
  • If the case is not re-set and the OFA stricken within the first twenty (20) days, an additional FTA is issued in the matter.

In order to have an OFA or FTA stricken, you will typically need to hire an attorney to file a motion to strike the process against you. Some counties require that in order to strike the OFA or FTA, the case will need to be added on to a docket and be heard in front of a judge. This usually requires that you appear in court to get the order for your arrest of FTA stricken. Other counties may not require you to appear, but the district attorney will ask for certain stipulations to be placed on your case, or for good reason to be shown for them to consent to striking the OFA or FTA. These stipulations are generally items such as, marking the case for plea, or waiving the required presence of certain witnesses.

Another consideration to take into account when an OFA is issued is whether or not you are out on bond. When you’re out on bond there is a bond forfeiture issued, meaning that within a given period of time the bondsman on your case must either; pay the bond, or turn you back into jail.

If you have any questions about a missed court date or are looking to get a matter re-set contact us today to set up a consultation with an experienced attorney.