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Is being in the hospital a good excuse for missing a court date in Utah?

In a Utah criminal case, the judge will typically expect the defendant to appear in person at every court date.  If a defendant does not appear at a scheduled court hearing without permission from the court, a judge will issue a bench warrant for the defendant's arrest, and the defendant could be held in custody during the remainder of the time the case is pending.

If you do miss a court date, you should be prepared to provide a good explanation as to why you did not appear in court.  Being in the hospital can be a good excuse for missing court, depending on the reason you were in the hospital.  Many judges will require you to provide proof that you were in the hospital, as well as an explanation as to reason it was medically necessary for you to be hospitalized at that particular time.  Just saying "I was at the hospital" does not automatically excuse your failure to appear.

If you have missed a court appearance or believe that you may have an outstanding bench warrant, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you resolve your legal problems.  Stephen Howard is a Utah criminal defense attorney based in Salt Lake City.  He has successfully handled literally thousands of serious criminal charges - more than most Utah attorneys will see in their entire careers.  

Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.


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  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Expungement - Worked to restore client's expungement eligibility through 402 reduction process, then filed successful expungement petitions in multiple courts obtaining expungement orders and clearing client's official criminal history.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony charge and possible life in prison for child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of the case revealed critical legal flaws in the prosecution's case. When confronted with the defense legal analysis, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case outright without trial.
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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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