Failure to Appear in Atlanta Municipal Court

Posted by Richard Lawson | Feb 09, 2013 | 0 Comments

What Happens If I Miss Court In Atlanta Municipal Court:

Missing a court date in the City of Atlanta Municipal Court will put your case into Failure to Appear status, which can then lead to a license suspension and additional fees.  It can also result in a bench warrant for your arrest, depending on the seriousness of the offense.  Anyone arrested for DUI in Atlanta will have court the next business day. If the arrest took place over the weekend, you will have a court appearance Monday morning at 8:00 a.m.  We can appear in court for you, and when we appear, it is as if you appeared yourself.  You will not be considered to have missed court in Atlanta if we attend court for you.

What do you do if you miss your court date in Atlanta Municipal Court?


Many people miss court for an Atlanta Traffic Ticket inadvertently. Many times the court dates listed on your bond paperwork and your citations does not match up, and you will get inconsistent information from court officials.  Other times your information may have been incorrectly added to the court's system, so you were unable to determine your correct court date.  No matter the reason, you will have to go through a specific process in order to resolve your case once it is considered an FTA case. Your Atlanta DUI Lawyer can help.  ***Note again that your local court will most certainly have their own procedures.

If you fail to appear at your court date in Atlanta, the court will notify the Georgia Department of Driver Services that you failed to appear.  If you fail to act quickly to resolve the missed appearance, the Georgia Department of Driver Services will suspend your driver's license indefinitely, starting after 28 days from the missed appearance.  To avoid the license suspension, you must clear the Failure to Appear (FTA) in less than 28 days.

Until recently, you would have to be legally served with a notice that your license was going to be suspended.  Today, the court is under no obligation to tell you that you are suspended. You are suspended by operation of law. The clock is ticking for your Atlanta DUI Attorney to help.

Ever court is different.  In Atlanta Municipal Court, if you have failed to appear (even if it is your fault) you will have to have your case placed on a special Failure to Appear Docket. The Failure to Appear Calendar has court sessions Monday through Thursday.

If your original court time was at 8:00 am, then your case must be set for an 8:00 am session.  You are required to show up between 7:00 and 7:30 am in order to schedule your case.  If your original court time was at 3:00 pm, then your case must be set for a 3:00 pm session.  You are required to show up between 12:00 and 2:00 pm in order to schedule your case for this session. Many times Atlanta DUI Lawyers can appear for you or at least with you to make the process go more smoothly.

At the failure to appear calendar, you will have the opportunity to explain the reason for your missed court appearance.  If you have a valid excuse such as a medical reason, emergency circumstances, or a legal reason the judge may excuse the missed court date.  If you do not have an acceptable excuse, the judge may assess a $100 Failure to Appear fee. You will then be expected to move forward and resolve your traffic citation, such as speeding, no proof of insurance, following too closely, and any other case.

Once the FTA is resolved, the Clerk of Court will complete a DS-912 withdrawal (also called a “release letter”). If you were able to resolve your case and submit the release letter to DDS within the 28 day grace period, no reinstatement fee will be imposed by DDS.  If your license was suspended, the DDS will reinstate your license one they receive the the DS-912 form and the reinstatement fee. For peace of mind, your Atlanta Traffic Ticket Lawyer will check with the Department of Drivers Services to make sure your license is then valid.

If your charged was more serious offenses, such as DUI, Hit and Run, Suspended License, Reckless Driving (to name a few), you will be given time to come back to court at a later date to resolve your case.  If the charge is serious, never move forward with your case without first consulting with the Atlanta DUI Attorneys from our office.

Our office can help!

The attorneys from our office will help you resolve your FTA quickly and smoothly. We practice in the Atlanta Municipal Court every day.  We will meet you at the courthouse, resolve your missed court appearance in Atlanta Municipal Court, and then get you an excellent outcome in the case itself.

There is no alternative  Eventually you will be pulled and arrested for driving on a suspended license.  You will then have exasperated a small problem.  Regardless of the reason for missing court in Atlanta, do not wait to fix the problem.  Act before it is too late. We can help.  Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Map to Atlanta Municipal Court:


How to Handle a missed court appearance in Atlanta

I missed my Court Date in Atlanta Municipal Court.  

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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