Will I go to jail for a first offence
If you have missed your court date, it is very important you contact the court registry to find out what has happened with your matter. If your matter is in the Local Court, there are generally three things that the court can do your absence:
If you have had an arrest warrant issued against you, you should seek legal advice.
It is important that you attend court in accordance with your Court Attendance Notice. If you have been granted bail in regards to your offences, not attending court as required of you will be a breach of your bail conditions and can result in having your bail revoked.
If you know you are going to miss your court date, you should write to the registry providing a valid reason why you are unable to attend, such as illness including any evidence to support this such as a medical certificate.
If you cannot attend court, you should engage a lawyer to attend in your absence.
If you do not attend court and you have been found guilty and/or sentenced in your absence, you can file an Annulment Application to have this reversed. When seeking an annulment, you must provide a valid explanation as to why you missed court. The court also may decide to annul the original decision if it is otherwise in the interests of justice to do so.
You have two years from the date of the original decision to file an annulment application.
If you have been found guilty and sentenced in your absence, it is recommended that you seek legal advice before filing an Annulment Application.