I have always lived by the motto that good things happen when you show up. Being in the right place at the right time can often catapult you into great opportunities, sometimes when you least expect it.

By the same token, not showing up can cause huge problems. Especially when you are supposed to be in court. Even a routine traffic offense like failing to stop at a stop sign or speeding through a manatee zone (Not that anyone would do that…on Memorial Day…with his wife and three-year old…who now tells me I’m speeding every time I turn the boat on) can escalate into a serious matter if you don’t show up in court when you are supposed to.

Failing to appear in court can be treated either as a contempt of court, or as a separate criminal offense. Either way, you could be looking at jail time. If you fail to appear for a sentencing hearing in criminal court, the judge has the option to throw out any agreement that you have entered into with the State and sentence you to the maximum. I have seen it happen more than once. A guy expecting to get a withhold of adjudication and probation misses court and ends up with 5 years in prison.

The moral of the story – Do Not Miss Court.