Despite recent press around aspects of the SAFE-T Act being unconstitutional, other aspects of the historic bill have gone into effect without major challenge. The landmark bill represents a big moment for efforts to reform the criminal justice system. Overall, the legislation seeks to reduce legal penalties for persons who may be struggling with a lack of organization, monetary difficulties, or a general tendency toward nonviolent difficulty with legal procedure.
The new law attempts to prioritize leniency and clemency on the part of the courts rather than a tendency toward swift and strict legal punishment.
What is the Procedure for a Missed Court Date Now?
If you have an order to appear in Court, you should always obey that order. However, now, when a person fails to comply with any condition of pretrial release or fails to appear in court for a court date, the court now has the option to issue a summons rather than a warrant for arrest. Courts are urged to take this course of action instead of issuing warrants in an effort to prioritize a more merciful court process and to reduce long-term legal consequences for a fairly minor mistake when all is taken into account.
Defendants will now be issued a summons for a new date, and if they show up for the newly issued date, they will not be charged with any failure to appear for a court date and will not be arrested. Courts are instructed not to use this initial failure to appear as an influence in any of their court decisions. Specifically, an initial failure to appear is not to be taken as any kind of evidence that a person will likely fail to appear at a later date.
What if I Miss the Summons Date?
If the summons date is missed, then the court may issue a warrant for your arrest. Essentially under the new SAFE-T Act legislation, defendants are offered a second chance to successfully appear in court. There are no third chances, however, and a warrant will be issued for your arrest should you mess up your second chance. The new law offers more “wiggle room,” so to speak, so that forgetting a court date or being stuck somewhere will not result in devastating consequences as long as it does not happen twice.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today
It is important to get professional help in matters involving your safety or the safety of those you care for. Do not delay in acquiring legal help from our law offices. Glasgow & Olsson is uniquely qualified to help navigate new changes in police accountability law. Recent changes to Illinois law likely affect your rights and trial process, so make sure to remain informed and updated. Make sure to acquire legal assistance the whole way through. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.