What We DO and, What We DON'T DO!
While we are NC licensed attorneys, and represent clients in a wide variety of traffic and criminal cases in North Carolina, this page is set up to help folks who don't necessarily want to hire a lawyer to "resolve" their case, rather they want to reset a missed Court date and have a chance for a "do-over."
When a defendant (the person charged) misses a Court date for a traffic offense, the Clerk of Court enters into the record a notation that the defendant "Failed to Appear" for Court. This notation for "Failing to Appear" is typically noted in the records as an "FTA." When an FTA occurs, there are a couple of things that happen immediately and a few things that happen over the period of a few weeks. The Clerk's notation in the Court's computer system usually occurs right away (certainly by the end of the day on which the defendant failed to appear).
Entry of the FTA begins a process with several consequences, depending on the charge for which the defendant failed to appear. In some cases, the Judge in the Court may issue and Order for Arrest ("OFA"), sometimes called a "Bench Warrant" for the arrest of the non-appearing defendant." That may seem like a serious consequence for not coming to Court to resolve a minor traffic offense but it's better that you know now that such a consequence can and does happen every day in North Carolina courts. Generally, OFA's are not issued for minor traffic offenses, although, they do seem to happen frequently when defendants are charged with registration violations, so keep that in mind.
All of the following criteria MUST be met in order for your case to qualify for our review:
- Your case MUST be an infraction or misdemeanor traffic offense which was set for hearing in Wake County, NC District Court, not more than ten (10) days prior to your submitting the application to reset;
- You MUST NOT have missed any prior Court date;
- Your missed Court date MUST have been the first setting for the case, it MUST have been scheduled in District Courtroom 101, Wake County Justice Center in Raleigh, North Carolina (Sometimes this Court is referred to as "Disposition Court"); and
- Your case MUST be one defined as a "waivable offense" under NC Statutes and the Wake County, NC Local Rules of Practice (A list of "waivable offenses" can be found here) Please note that more serious cases, such as Driving While Impaired ("DWI") or Driving While License Revoked ("DWLR") are termed "mandatory appearance" or "non-waivable offenses," and are NOT cases that can be reset using this site! (A list of "mandatory appearance" or "non-waivable offenses" can be found here).
What we do...
Terms of Service:
Please understand, this offer is NOT for every case, in every Courtroom. So, you have to honestly, completely and correctly answer some questions to be certain that your case fits into those for which we offer this service.
If you contact us within the first ten (10) days following your missed court date (or your "FTA"),
if we confirm that our firm does not have a conflict of interest in representing you in the submitted case,
if you provide all requested information and the responses are truthful and complete,
if we accept your case for representation,
if you receive, execute and return to us our engagement letter, and
if you pay the fees associated with our services via the electronic invoice we send you,
Then, within two (2) days of our receipt of all the information above and your full payment, we will:
- Prepare a Motion on your behalf related only to the submitted case and based on the answers provided in the application;
- Make a limited appearance on your behalf in Wake County NC District Court to file the Motion requesting that the Court strike the FTA, recall any Order For Arrest associated therewith, and requesting the Judge (or Assistant District Attorney) to continue your Court appearance one (1) time, to a date approximately four weeks beyond your missed court date, said date to be selected solely by the Court (or the Assistant District Attorney);
- Once the Court has ruled on your Motion, we will communicate to you by email (at the email address you provided) whether the Motion was granted and if so, the new date set by the Court. In the event your Motion is not granted, we will explain to you the reason provided by the Court for denying the Motion.
- The engagement contemplated by this web page is limited in scope to the service of preparing and presenting a Motion to Reset your Court date. Unless you contract with us separately and under an additional engagement letter, we will not appear on your new date or at any other time to represent you in the matter submitted or any other matter, nor is our firm responsible for any court costs associated with your case or it's resolution. If you have any questions concerning the terms of our engagement, please call us before sending the application.