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Failed to appear in court - warrant issued now what...

(67 Posts)
Goingtojail Tue 21-Mar-17 01:20:34

I've done something g really silly. I was caught speeding a while ago. Didn't have the money for the fine st the time so I put the ticket to one side meaning g to deal with it at payday. I lost the ticket and forgot.

Now it appears I should have been in court and so a warrant has been issued. The police have phoned to say that I have to go to the station and be locked up in the cells overnight to appear in court the next day.

Anyone know what's likely to happen to me? I have no other convictions - no prior experience of dealing with the criminal justice system,

Frankly I'm terrified. I know I've been stupid and must have thrown letters away without opening them, because I genuinely had no idea I was supposed to be in court. The original fine was £100 and 3 points.

I'm so scared.

passthewineplz Tue 21-Mar-17 01:33:36

Goingtojail Tue 21-Mar-17 01:50:13

Thanks - should have said I'm in Scotland so I think it's slightly different.

The police phoned me tonight so I know there is a warrant but they're saying I will need to go to the station and I will be held in the cells overnight to appear in court the next day. I can go tomorrow or Wednesday.

I'm panicking at the thought of being in a cell.

Lynnm63 Tue 21-Mar-17 02:04:00

Did you lose the ticket or the summons to court? In England if you didn't receive the summons you go before the Magistrates to swear a Statutory Declaration that you didn't receive the summons. They can then reissue the summons if they choose. I'm not sure if it's the same in Scotland.

Broken11Girl Tue 21-Mar-17 02:07:07

Oh, love sad
I don't see why you'd have to be held overnight. Police can be twats threatening because they're used to dealing with thugs, so go in heavily, not realising how terrifying it is to normal people who make one mistake.
If you don't mind me asking, do you have mh issues? Just that you refer to panic, not opening post etc. If so, police have a duty of care and must follow certain procedures.
You need to get legal advice. First thing in the morning. CAB will have a list of solicitors. Also get
I don't think the punishment for speeding with no record will be serious, there is no way you will go to prison so please don't worry about that. I get how terrifying it is though.

passthewineplz Tue 21-Mar-17 02:14:00

Looks like the law in Scotland is similar to the link I posted OP.

You'll be arrested as you didn't appear in court, then held so that you can appear in court.

If you're unable to pay the fine and need to pay in instalments, it might be useful to write down all of your incomings and outgoings so that you can agree payments with the court.

Hope everything works out ok.

Goingtojail Tue 21-Mar-17 02:16:26

Lost the ticket - didn't receive a summons. But I'm really bad for not opening letters, so it's possible something was sent thorough the post and I've chucked it out.

I'm just in a panic because I've had the police on the phone at 10 to 11 tonight threatening to come and arrest me then offering for me to go in person to be arrested and held overnight. No mental health issues other than the fact I've had some financial problems in the past and that's why I tend to ignore letters.

I'm just a normal 40 something mum with children and I'm now worrying about having s criminal record, having to spend at least s night in a cell and losing my job.

Paddywack92 Tue 21-Mar-17 02:19:51

They'll keep you overnight so that they can get you to court first thing in the morning. If you go to the police station in the early hours then you shouldn't be there too long, they usually get you out to court by 7.30ish. If you go in the day time there will be no slots for you at court so you'll be held overnight anyway if that makes sense.
Also you won't need a solicitor for your time at the police station because you won't be being interviewed.
Also, as PP has said your punishment for speeding/failing to appear won't be anything too drastic.

Goingtojail Tue 21-Mar-17 02:27:15

I've to go at 10pm to be in court the next morning.

So ashamed - all my own fault too. DD has a fear of anyone in her family being sent to jail sad.

Athrawes Tue 21-Mar-17 02:27:25

Can you take a book? Sorry, that would be my first thought. You have to go, fess up, take the rap etc. Once you have the childcare sorted, take a book and a warm jumper and take it on the chin. Put it down to experience, one to tell the kids etc.

Goingtojail Tue 21-Mar-17 02:28:44

Thanks everyone.

Goingtojail Tue 21-Mar-17 02:31:20

Don't think I'll be able to take anything. I'll have to go to court in the clothes I sleep in. Have to go to station in one town and potentially court 20 miles away,

No idea about the practicalities of getting home then as presumably everything will be taken off me.

Paddywack92 Tue 21-Mar-17 02:33:11

I'm assuming from your post you haven't been arrested before but the cells aren't as bad as it seems. They're not the comfiest of places to sleep but you should be looked after, food/drinks when you like, however many blankets you want etc. You still have rights when you're in custody and they can't deny you of those. Typically a weekday night in custody won't be very busy either so you may well be the only person in there.
It's just one night you'll have to get through and then court then by late afternoon it'll all be over. Best of luck x

Paddywack92 Tue 21-Mar-17 02:34:03

Also everything does get taken off you but it gets put in a locker overnight then you get it back so if you wanted to take a change of clothes that should be fine. Also you can take a book in with you

Lynnm63 Tue 21-Mar-17 02:48:59

Could you just go to court this morning to swear the Stat Dec stating you did not receive the summons? Do you have legal cover with your car ins? You might be able to get some advice that might save you being kept in a cell.

Goingtojail Tue 21-Mar-17 03:12:33

I don't think I can go to the court to tomorrow. If I do it's likely I'll be taken into custody there and then. At least this way I don't have to go until after the children are in bed.

I do have some legal cover and access to a helpline which l'll call in the morning. It could have been worse. The police could have turned up at my home without warning.

Thanks Paddywack - I've calmed down a bit thanks to your posts. I'm just worried there will be further consequences and could be charged with something else because I didn't attend court.

Redglitter Tue 21-Mar-17 03:33:18

I don't see why you'd have to be held overnight. Police can be twats threatening because they're used to dealing with thugs, so go in heavily, not realising how terrifying it is to normal people who make one mistake

Shell be held in the cells overnight because a warrant has been issued for her arrest. It's not a case of the police being 'twats' hmm it's a case of them following the law

RebootYourEngine Tue 21-Mar-17 05:04:18

The police will keep the Oap in a cell overnight because they failed to turn up to court once before. By keeping OP they can guarantee a court appearance.

I havent got much to add. The thought of spending the night in a cell frightens me.

piginboots Tue 21-Mar-17 05:33:02

I'm a police officer in England rather than Scotland but here the warrant would state that you should be arrested and brought before the court as soon as possible, so if you attended a police station at night then yes, you'd be arrested and taken to court on the morning but if you turned up at 7am you'd be taken straight to court that day. If you were here then the most sensible thing to do would be to turn up at the correct court half an hour before it opens and get it sorted out there​ are then which would possibly bypass the arrest altogether.

Can you call back and try to speak to a different officer?

The law may be different in Scotland of course, but the link above doesn't mention anything about the necessity of spending a night in the cells. It's a waste of police resources if nothing else.

sashh Tue 21-Mar-17 05:46:05

No reason why you can't take a change of clothes and a book. They will probable take a bag off you but not a book.

A friend was kept overnight due to the police being twats (yes he was needed in court but had attended previous dates and interviews they just decided he was a suicide risk for reason's known only to himself) he spent half the night out of his cell chatting to the custody sergeant.

Agree with the advise to turn up at court or police station 6 or 7 am. That's not a lot of time but call then now - as soon as you are up, talk to the most senior person you can, an inspector if you can.

Do you have the number of the PC who called you? Id so ask for that numbers senior officer. Explain that you are a mum and cannot leave your child over night but you can travel NOW to either police station or court to appear today.

Good luck.

Logoplanter Tue 21-Mar-17 05:53:25

The only reason an English Magistrate's Court would issue a warrant for your arrest here is if you were liable to be disqualified from driving. That'd be because the speed you were doing was so high or because you're liable to be disqualified under the penalty points system. I would have thought it'd be the same in Scotland. In any event here (England) that is the only offence you'd have as you weren't on bail so there'd be no consequences for not attending court.

With regards the warrant you can't just hand yourself in to the court and bypass the police unfortunately. If the court let you do that everyone would do it and it'd be chaos. The police might let you hand yourself in in the early hours so you could be processed and put on the first bus to court. I'm surprised they didn't suggest that as I wouldn't have thought they'd want you in overnight if they can avoid it. They'd have to feed you and check on you and you'd be taking up one of their cells.

In England anyone in the cells would be entitled to the duty solicitor. Take advantage of them. They're free to use and can advise you.

Hope it all goes ok OP.

Ahmezia Tue 21-Mar-17 06:15:02

logo Your first part isn't correct. If the op has ignored a summons to appear in court then a magistrate will issue a warrant for her arrest in order for her to appear in court. It would happen with any offence for which you're summoned to court not just speeding.

Logoplanter Tue 21-Mar-17 06:27:53

Ahmezia they wouldn't, for a speeding offence they'd hear the case in the defendant's absence and sentence in absence if they could. The only time they wouldn't do that is if the above applied re disqualification.

Courts don't just routinely issue warrants for people because they've failed to turn up. It depends on each case and whether they need to be there for the case to proceed to plea/for sentence/were on bail to start with etc.

Goingtojail Tue 21-Mar-17 07:01:24

It was 86mph on the motorway where the limit was 70. Initially 3 points and £100 fine.

From the conversation I had last night if I turned up now, I'd be held for 2 nights instead of just the 1. The same would happen if I turned up st court. I'm going to ring the legal helpline I have now and see if there are any other options.

I genuinely didn't realise I was supposed to be in court. But I realise this is all my own fault and I need to face up to this - it's not going to go away however much I wish it would.

Managed to get a little bit of sleep and feeling a bit calmer.

Redglitter Tue 21-Mar-17 15:07:18

If you haven't already done so phone 101 and ask to be put through to the custody suite of the station you plan on going to. Explain the situation to them & they'll advise you the best time to go and hand yourself in. There's a cut off time for the court bus paperwork to be submitted so the closer you are to that the better.

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