Photo by Sora Shimazaki on

Staying in close contact with your criminal defense attorney is obviously in your best interest. Your case will get resolved more quickly and more favorably if you and your lawyer work together and have open communication.

But there’s another major reason to answer the phone when your lawyer calls. Good contact with your defense counsel will often help you avoid defaults if you happen to miss a pretrial hearing.

As I’ve noted in a previous post, criminal proceedings can drag on for a year or two. And during that time, you’ll be required to attend many court dates to address pretrial matters.

If you miss one of these hearing, the prosecutor can ask the judge to find you in default and to issue a default warrant for your arrest.

When such a request is made, the judge will almost always ask the defense attorney if he has had good contact with the defendant.

If the defense attorney tells the judge that communication has been good, the judge will often waive the defendant’s presence for that hearing and deny the prosecutor’s request for a warrant.

On the other hand, if the lawyer has not had contact with his client, the judge will very likely issue the warrant and deem the defendant in default.