My attorney told me it wasn't necessary for me to be present for my court date and that he would be there to ask for a continuance. I live out of state.
A week later I received a bond forfeiture notice in the mail (my bond is paid in full).
I have attempted to contact him by email, telephone & text every day since, but he has not responded.
I have never been in trouble before and don't know what to do.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Send him a letter telling him that you have a problem with your case and that you need to hear from him. If you don't hear back, contact the State Bar for assistance.
As a lawyer, my first thought is - did you pay your attorney? You'd be surprised how often people whine that their attorney did nothing and it turns out the attorney was not paid. It is however common for an out of state client to not be present for a continuance request. Assuming you did make your payment, normally only three things could have caused your case to be missed and your bond forfeited (which most likely means there is also an Order for Arrest): 1) attorney / district attorney error; 2) court clerk error or 3) the judge denied the request for a continuance. I'm leaning toward attorney error since you indicate that you have not been able to contact him after several days of various attempts. However, you should not jump to the worst case conclusion that your attorney ran off on a bender to Vegas with your money - it could be the case that your attorney has become incapacitated in some fashion. This issue does need to be addressed ASAP, so I recommend one more good faith attempt to contact the attorney and you then need to contact the North Carolina State Bar (contact info can be found online) as Mr. Love recommended.
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