Under What Circumstances Can I Avoid Appearing in Court for a Summons in PA?

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
June 30, 2022

Through different circumstances, people can find themselves summoned to a courtroom without the ability to avoid appearing in court. However, there are some instances in which you can avoid appearing in court following a court order when you have the right legal team to represent you.

At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., our professional attorneys can help you face any criminal charges against you. With our experienced legal help, we can represent you in court or stand alongside you when you receive a summons. Continue reading to discover the circumstances that can help you avoid having to appear in court after receiving a summons in Pennsylvania.

What Are Court Summons?

A summons is also referred to as a court order issued to individuals before a lawsuit or criminal proceeding. This document contains information about the date and time of your court date, along with any additional information regarding the case. When you are summoned, you can either be directly involved as a plaintiff or defendant or forced to appear in person to give any information you may have about the case.

Contents of a Court Summons

When you receive a summons, you will find the following information enclosed in the document:

  • The person receiving the summons (shows your name and address)
  • Name and type of the court issuing the summons
  • The case number
  • The name of the defendant (may or may not be you)
  • When and where you must appear
  • Why you are being summoned and what the case is about

Receiving a summons does not necessarily mean you need a defense. However, it is important to read carefully to determine why you are being summoned.

How Does a Subpoena Differ from a Summons?

A court summons could be a court order to appear when you are directly involved or have information to add to an active case. A subpoena, however, involves more from you at a court hearing. A summons, whether in a civil or criminal matter, are typically issued at the start of a case. When you are issued a subpoena, you are demanded to provide evidence, whether in physical or testimony form, as a defendant or a witness.

You may feel stressed and frightened when you receive a summons or a subpoena, but it is essential to know and understand common reasons the court may serve you. It is also important to understand how an experienced attorney can represent you or be alongside you in court to help you face the courtroom. There are serious legal repercussions when failing to appear, as you may find yourself under arrest for avoiding a court date without permission.

Why Am I Receiving a Court-Ordered Appearance?

There are many different reasons why you may find yourself being summoned. Some examples could be that you are facing charges from a complaint that someone made against you or your business, be facing a lawsuit in small claims court, charges for a DUI, or involvement in a domestic violence case. Common reasons for receiving a summons include:

  • You witnessed a crime
  • You or someone you know is involved in a lawsuit
  • You own pertinent documents or information important in the case
  • You are summoned to jury duty
  • You are directly or indirectly involved in a criminal case.

Nonetheless, regardless of the reason, you should always consult your legal team for counsel on how to handle a summons or subpoena in the best way. In many cases, you may have to respond and give a deposition. Depending on the matter, your attorney may be able to take your place and show up for you instead of you showing up to court alone to face prosecutors.

Bench Warrants after Failing to Appear

It is important to note that when you fail to respond to a hearing and fail to appear on the given court date, the law states a bench warrant can be placed for your arrest. This means you have failed to appear in court and are now facing time in jail. You may also have given up any right to contest any charges, depending on how you are involved in the case.

Circumstances That Permit Avoiding a Court Appearance

When you receive a summons in a criminal case, you may have to appear in court. When you hire a criminal defense lawyer experienced in the courtroom, you may be able to avoid showing up in court or having to appear by yourself. It is important to know the details of your case and what your options are after you have received a summons.

Should I Seek an Attorney to Represent Me in Court?

Often, defendants do not have an attorney with them during an arraignment. Hiring an experienced attorney to be with you during the hearing will help you have all the information and documentation you need. With a criminal defense lawyer, you can avoid having to appear in court once they get the details of your case and take action on your behalf. Here are some benefits of having an attorney once you receive a summons:

  • Your lawyer can contact the court and determine your involvement in the case. When you are not the defendant, you may be able to make a documented or recorded statement without appearing in court.
  • Your attorney can represent you in the courtroom, and you can avoid having to appear in court.
  • When you have an attorney, your rights are protected, and you will not have to show up to court alone when you must appear.

Do not delay contacting a lawyer when you need a defense after a summons. Not having proper representation can cost you in the courtroom.

Call Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. In Pennsylvania for Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys

You may have unexpectedly received a summons and are stressed out about what this means. When you are faced with a summons, our legal team at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., is readily available to protect your rights and represent you in a Pennsylvania court. Reach out to us using our contact form or give us a call at (215) 822-7575 to schedule your free consultation.


Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Pennsylvania Attorney's
June 30, 2022
Established in 1952 by Irwin S. Rubin, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. boasts over 65 years of experience serving clients throughout Pennsylvania. Renowned for its commitment to ethical representation, the firm has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named the "Best Law Firm" for its outstanding legal defense work by U.S. News & World Report. Their team of seasoned attorneys, recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, brings unparalleled expertise to a wide range of legal matters, ensuring exceptional representation for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.