Failing to appear in Court can only make matters worse when you are already facing criminal charges. Nonetheless, people sometimes fail to appear for their Court dates as scheduled, whether inadvertently or purposely. No matter your situation, a Loxahatchee failure to appear lawyer may be able to help.
One of our skilled criminal Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert may be able to mitigate the circumstances and resolve your failure to appear with a minimum of impact on your overall situation. Taking steps to address any outstanding failure to appear warrants can be crucial to a positive outcome in your case. By facing the issue head-on, you may be able to reduce the effects of a failure to appear on your underlying criminal case.
Failing to Appear in Court as Ordered
When individuals are facing criminal charges, they typically can post bail to allow them to be released while they are awaiting trial on the charges. However, as a condition of their release, they must regularly appear in Court at scheduled conferences and court dates.
Failing to appear for a Court date in a criminal proceeding typically results in a bench warrant. In most cases, individuals arrested on a bench warrant for failure to appear remain in jail without bond. Therefore, they have the potential to stay incarcerated until the final disposition of their criminal charges.
Criminal Charges for Failure to Appear
A failure to appear can result in an additional criminal charge under Fl. Stat. § 843.15. Failure to appear is a separate first-degree misdemeanor offense that is in addition to the original misdemeanor or criminal charges that individuals are facing. Furthermore, if the underlying criminal charge is a felony, then the failure to appear charge becomes a third-degree felony charge.
As a result, conviction on the failure to appear charge can result in up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, depending on the level of the charge. Even a misdemeanor failure to appear conviction carries the potential for up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. As a failure to appear lawyer in Loxahatchee can advise, the sentence for a failure to appear charge often is in addition to the penalties to the underlying criminal charges.
Contempt of Court Charges for Failure to Appear
Alternatively, a Court can find individuals in indirect contempt of Court instead of prosecutors filing an additional criminal charge for failure to appear. A finding of contempt requires a willful or intentional failure to appear in Court. Again, individuals may have to remain in jail without bond, or with a much higher bond than the Court previously set.
Whether individuals face additional criminal charges or a potential contempt finding for their failure to appear, they likely will forfeit any bail that they previously posted. A failure to appear attorney in Loxahatchee may be able to help avoid some of the potential consequences of failing to appear, including getting the failure to appear warrant recalled or cancelled.
Options for Handling a Failure to Appear
In some situations, when uncontrollable and unforeseeable circumstances result in a failure to appear, legal counsel may be able to arrange a resolution for individuals to appear in court or avoid an arrest warrant. Individuals only may have this option if they contact their lawyer immediately following the missed court date. Even then, some courts may not permit this type of resolution. The longer you wait the harder it is, but e have gotten many old warrants recalled and cancelled.
Furthermore, legal counsel may be able to facilitate individuals turning themselves in on the outstanding failure to appear warrant, whether at the jail or in the Courtroom. Regardless of the situation, remaining in a failure to appear status will not be beneficial. People in this position should take steps to resolve this issue right away for the best possible outcome.
Talk with a Loxahatchee Failure to Appear Attorney
Failing to appear in Court is likely to worsen your situation in various ways. Fortunately, you may have options available to you to resolve a failure to appear warrant for your arrest. A Loxahatchee failure to appear lawyer at Leifert & Leifert can present the full range of options to you and help you choose the path that is best for you.
Getting legal advice after you have failed to appear in Court may be your best chance of reducing the risk of added criminal charges, penalties and arrests on any failure to appear warrant. By addressing your case as quickly as possible, you may be better situated to resolve it favorably.