i have to appear in court.ihave a failure to appear.i have not been in trouble or no tickets in over 15 years.do i need a lawyer or just go to court?

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i have to appear in court.ihave a failure to appear.i have not been in trouble or no tickets in over 15 years.do i need a lawyer or just go to court?

i was pulled over and arrested last week for a failure to appear in court,it was over a cab fare that i did’nt pay because my paycheck had’nt cleared the bank yet.i was told by the police to go pay it in the morning which i did and the gentleman at the cab company told me the charges would be dropped,obviously they were not.i kept the receipt for about 2years and threw it away because i figured it was a dead issue,this happened in06 of 2004

Asked on May 4, 2009 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

R.C., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Failure to appear is not a small thing, and it is important to clear it up or it will follow you forever.  The first thing you need to do is to return to the cab company to see if they have a copy of the receipt, or some document that shows that you paid the cab fare, or someone remembers you--or something!  I definitely think you need to consult with an attorney, at least to ascertain what comes next.  You may be able to go into court without a lawyer and explain it to the judge, but at least have such a consultation beforehand.  One note which your experience will probably help you remember--when someone says they will do something, don't assume it has been done.  Always check, and only believe what you can verify yourself.


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