When a person finds themselves charged with criminal activity, the Judge typically sets bail unless the defendant is a flight risk or a danger to themselves or the community. Once the bail amount gets settled, the defendant enjoys the comfort of freedom and their home until their case is resolved. Should the individual not appear at court for any reason, it typically results in separate failure to appear charges. If you were recently charged with criminal activities but could not make your court date, contact a Tequesta failure to appear Lawyer as soon as possible.
One of our dedicated Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert might be able to help you avoid failure to appear charges depending on the nature of the original accusation and why you missed your court date. Legal professionals proficient in failure to appear cases can request a motion to rescind the charge and schedule a new court date with the guarantee that you will arrive on time.
Potential Penalties Resulting from a Failure to Appear Conviction
The State of Florida issues two penalties as per Florida Statute Section 843.15. The first concerns the forfeiting the security, or bail, bond associated with the release. The second penalty depends on the charge. If the defendant is charged with criminal activity and does not make their court appearance, for example, they face a third-degree Felony charge in addition to their original charge that required them in Court in the first place. Such changes result in a fine up to $5,000, a five-year prison sentence, or both.
Defendants accused of Misdemeanors may be charged with first-degree Misdemeanors if they do not appear in court, which can include a fine up to $1,000, jail time of up to one year, or both. Legal professionals who provide failure to appear services take steps to eliminate these penalties, or at least reduce them.
Are There Different Types of Failure to Appear Cases?
When a person does not appear for their hearing, the judge issues a bench warrant, or a written order charging the individual with contempt of court. A bench warrant is also known as an arrest want or capias. Florida recognizes numerous failure to appear case examples, including:
- Failing to appear when subpoenaed by the court
- Failing to appear in civil court
- Failing to appear in criminal court
- Failing to appear for a probation hearing
- Failing to appear for trial
A defense attorney could argue that the defendant did not willfully miss their Court date due to interfering extenuating circumstances or just plain and simple mistake or oversight. Other common defenses include attending to sick children or disabled relatives, acute illnesses, injuries stemming from slip and fall accidents, vehicular collisions, or other incidents that temporarily incapacitated them, as well as faulty transportation and road construction.
Contact a Tequesta Failure to Appear Attorney Today
No matter why you were unable to make your Court appearance, do not wait for the police to arrive at your home or attempt to flee the State or Country. Help the Court understand that the missed appearance was not intentional by contacting a Tequesta failure to appear Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert immediately. A case evaluation provides the insight necessary to formulate a defense that hopefully lifts the bench warrant and related penalties. To get started on your case, be sure to schedule a consultation today.