Missing a court date, whether accidental or intentional, can have serious repercussions in the state of Georgia. Not only will the court likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest, but they have probably also started the process to suspend your license.
Once the suspension process is triggered, you may receive a letter from the Department of Driver Services (DDS) notifying you that they suspended your license due to the Failure to Appear (FTA) issued by the State Court of Cobb County.
However, if you miss the notice from the DDS or fail to take steps to resolve the issue, you could wind up facing jail time for driving on a suspended license when an officer pulls you over. And to make matters worse, if you are arrested on a suspended license charge, you may not be able to bond out of jail until you also lift the original bench warrant for the FTA.
Scheduling an FTA Hearing in Cobb County State Court
While the penalties for an FTA or bench warrant can be harsh, these charges are usually simple to resolve. You will need to take the appropriate steps to communicate with the court and pay associated fines. You will also need to complete the necessary paperwork indicating the removal of your license suspension to the DDS.
But you should know that taking the first step is your responsibility as Cobb County State Court will not schedule a failure to appear hearing on your behalf. You can call (770) 528-2622 or reach out to the Clerk’s office at 12 E. Park Square, Marietta, Georgia, to schedule a court date and resolve your FTA status.
Note – if you plan to hire an attorney we recommend you let the lawyer reach out to the Court on your behalf.
What Happens if I Don’t Have an Attorney?
Going to court can be intimidating. And while you can resolve your Failure to Appear status without a lawyer, there are significant benefits to hiring legal representation. To start, an attorney may be able to get the FTA or bench warrant lifted without requiring your appearance in court. A good lawyer will also have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can simplify and streamline the process.
If you opt to resolve your case without an attorney, there is one step you don’t want to skip: talk to the Cobb County State Court Clerk to find out what they will require from you to get started on lifting the FTA. Taking this step will help to avoid duplicate efforts and costly mistakes.
Can I Clear a Bench Warrant or Failure to Appear Without Going to Jail?
Jail time is a concern for many people facing a failure to appear status. Usually, this fear arises because it is common an active bench warrant technically means you could be arrested when you go back to court. But it is unlikely that they will arrest you on a traffic FTA warrant when you arrive in court to resolve your FTA.
However, there are certain circumstances where this might occur. For example, if there is a warrant in a different jurisdiction or related to a separate matter, or perhaps the prosecutor is asking for jail time on the underlying offense.
If you are worried about being arrested or unsure about your next steps, speak with an attorney today to learn about your options.