Mistakes happen, and sometimes life events are out of your control. No matter the reason for missing a Court hearing, the Government may attempt to punish you.
If you do nothing, the Judge may issue a bench warrant, which means the police can arrest you at any time without warning. This could cause problems with childcare and employment, as well as damage your reputation.
If you are aware that you missed a hearing date, you should take immediate action. Speak with one of our well-versed Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert to learn more about how best to approach this situation. You may find that a Greenacres failure to appear Lawyer can help you avoid a bench warrant and handle any possible criminal charges.
Failure to Appear Laws in Greenacres
If a party does not go to a hearing, there are different consequences based on the type of hearing they missed. A Greenacres failure to appear Lawyer could explain the specific laws and potential penalties that apply to your situation.
Failure to Appear for a Misdemeanor Hearing
If the Government released you on bail and you willfully chose not to appear as required, the Government would keep the posted bond, as noted in Florida Statute §843.15. The Government may also hold you in contempt of Court. There is also the added punishment of a first-degree Misdemeanor. The Court may sentence you to up to one year in jail and order you to pay a fine of up to $1,000. This punishment is on top of any underlying criminal charges.
What Happens if you Miss a Felony Court Hearing?
Failure to appear for a Felony hearing is considered an extra third-degree Felony charge. On top of forfeiture of any posted bond and contempt charges, the Court may also sentence you to up to five years in prison and order you pay a fine of no more than $5,000.
Ways to Handle a Failure to Appear
If you do not attend a hearing date, you may be able to request the Court not carry out the warrant. Some options include:
- Reporting to jail to surrender
- Requesting that an Attorney file a motion to withdraw the failure to appear warrant and requesting another Court date
- Asking that a Lawyer file a “motion to surrender” in the Courtroom
What are the Consequences of a Bench Warrant?
If a Judge issues a warrant for failing to appear, there may be serious negative consequences. For example, you may not be able to collect Government benefits, and the Government may suspend your driver’s license. The warrant could also potentially show up on a background check for a job or lease application. These consequences are on top of the punishments listed above related to the criminal charges.
Why is it Important to Work with a Lawyer When Failing to Appear in Court?
When a person fails to appear in Court following a criminal charge, they should expect for the Court to take into consideration that they might be at risk for fleeing the area in order to avoid a conviction. As a result, the individual charged should focus on showing the Courtroom that they intend to see the criminal process to its end. To demonstrate this effectively, it is recommended to retain the services of a local criminal defense Attorney. By working with a Lawyer, an individual would be showing the Court that they are serious about the charges presented to them since they hired someone to represent their interests and speak on their behalf. An Attorney would also make sure that the defendant shows up on time for any hearings and takes on the responsibility of ensuring that the defendant is professionally represented in Court.
Schedule an Appointment with a Greenacres Failure to Appear Attorney
If you missed a Court date, you may be worried about your future. Instead of letting the situation distress you, reach out to one of our professional criminal Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert.
A Greenacres failure to appear Lawyer may be able to help you raise a defense against your underlying charges and request that the Judge withdraw any issued warrants. Warrants do not go away, and a surprise arrest could cost you your job, or even affect your custody rights. Call today to schedule a consultation and begin working towards a positive resolution.