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Is there a criminal charge for missing a court date?

I was told I can't go to jail for not paying a debt. Can I be sent to jail for not showing up for my first court date? I have a credit card debt I cannot pay.

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    Richard Williams | Law Office of Richard Williams
    301 Government Street, Suite 104
    Mobile, AL 36602
    (251) 272-3765
    Jauary 22, 2013. Normally, if you are a party to a civil lawusit and you fail to appear, after being served with proper notice, a default judgment is entered against you and no warrant issues for your arrest. If you are a witness in a civil lawsuit and you willfuly and purposely ignore the subpoena, the court can issue a contempt against you and you can be compelled to appear before the court to show cause. Civil contempt can result in jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama - Replied: 1/22/2013
    Brendan M. Kelly | Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    1700 Farnam Street, Suite 2820
    Omaha, NE 68102
    (402) 455-1711
    Missing a court date is called failure to appear. It a new charge, along with the old ticket.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska - Replied: 1/22/2013
    George E Downing. Jr. | Downing Law Firm
    5700 Florida Street
    Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    (225) 924-1630
    Yes. Contempt of court may cause jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana - Replied: 1/21/2013
    Dennis P. Mikko | Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law
    1020 Hastings, Suite 105
    Traverse City, MI 49686
    (231) 922-7374
    You cannot be sent to jail for failure to appear in a civil matter. Rather than be sent to jail, if you fail to appear, the court can enter judgment for the other party, In this case, it sounds like you are being sued for a debt. If you do not appear, a judgment can be entered against you. There is no debtor's prison so if you cannot afford to pay, you will not go to jail. The only way you could find yourself in jail is if you failed to appear if ordered to do so by a court issued subpoena. Failure to follow such a court order could be considered a contempt, probably civil, which could result in you being held until you appear or post bond. Even if you cannot afford to pay, you should still appear and try to make some type of arrangements for payment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan - Replied: 1/21/2013
    Jeff Yeh | Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    3810 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1110
    Los Angeles, CA 90010
    (213) 446-2495
    Yes you can. It's called "Failure to Appear," a misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 1/21/2013
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