It is possible to have a privately retained attorney appear for you in court under Penal Code 977, a statute which allows an attorney to appear on client’s behalf for infractions and misdemeanors (with exceptions). If you have a privately retained attorney and your matter is not a felony (ie. it is a misdemeanor) and you were not specifically ordered to be there by the Judge, your attorney can appear at Court without you needing to be there in most cases.
If you have a Court hearing date set, either you or your privately retained attorney (per the limitations listed above) needs to be at the court date or it is likely the Judge will issue a Bench Warrant for failure to appear. Depending on the specifics of your case, your attorney may be able to “advance” the court date to an earlier date when you can be there if necessary.
Remember, Judges are very serious when it comes to people (or their attorneys) showing up to court dates in a timely manner. A failure to appear can sometimes have just as, if not more serious consequences than the underlying charge.
*Note that this is a general info and is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney if you have any questions in regards to your specific case.
I can be reached at 818-336-1384 to discuss defending your Criminal charge(s) in more detail.
Philip Hache, Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney