Understanding Your Right to Stay Home While You Wait For a Court Hearing

If you are arrested and charged with a crime, your first priority will likely be to get yourself arrested out of jail quickly so that your case can be dismissed, and then continue to prepare for your trial. You will most likely be taken to the police station where you will be booked and fingerprinted, then given a written statement indicating your recognizance of your rights, and then either released on your own recognizance. You will most likely be told to remain at the police station until your court date. However, what if you do not show up for your court date? Your case may still proceed, but without a trial date; thus, there would be no trial, and no final verdict would be announced.


This is why it is important to be aware of your rights when you are arrested, especially if you are accused of a crime that carries a possible sentence of jail time. One way to ensure that your rights are protected while you wait for your court date is to seek a stay-in-plea (SIP) or stay-in-additional-proceedings (SIP). A stay-in-plea is a court order that keeps an arrest pending the outcome of a particular case, with no impending court date yet scheduled. A stay-in-additional-proceedings is similar, except that it extends the period of time between a first arrest and the date of a scheduled trial. A SIP is usually filed in county courts within the county in which the suspect was arrested, or at the county courthouse if the suspect did not have legal representation.

If you were arrested in Vermont, for example, you could seek a SIP or stay-in-plea to prevent the issuance of a formal order of arrest. Similarly, if you were charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and were pulled over and found to have alcohol in your system, you can seek a stay home order to prevent the arrest of you. A DUI stay or a SIP stay gives the police the power to take you into custody immediately, without having to take a chance of setting up a formal court date. In addition, if you go to court and set aside the official date of your trial, a formal order of arrest can be filed against you. In either case, it is vital that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, so that he can advise you of your rights and what to do next.