Under state law, you have a legal obligation to appear in court when ordered to do so by a criminal law judge. Failing to appear for a court date is a criminal offense of its own that can result in severe consequences. Resolving a missed court appearance is possible with the help of a seasoned defense attorney.
When you face allegations of failure to appear, you have the right to defend yourself. These charges are no different than any other criminal offense, meaning the state has a duty to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A Tavares failure to appear lawyer could help you resolve the issue and beat the charges you face.
What is Failure to Appear?
The crime of failure to appear applies to anyone facing criminal charges that fails to attend a court hearing or trial when ordered to do so. The specific criminal charge they face for failing to appear depends on the severity of the crime they needed to appear for.
For example, someone charged with a misdemeanor could face misdemeanor failure to appear charges when they do not show up to their court hearing. The penalties become steeper in felony cases. Anyone who fails to appear in a felony criminal case could face additional felony charges for not appearing in court.
Common Reasons for Missing Court
There are countless reasons why a person might miss a court date. Some people simply forget to mark the date on their calendars, while others intentionally avoid appearing. In some cases, circumstances outside of someone’s control could prevent them from appearing at a court date, including medical emergencies or even being in the custody of a different law enforcement agency.
The judge overseeing a criminal case has leeway when a person fails to appear. Therefore, not every case of failure to appear is treated the same. For example, someone who misses a court appearance because of a medical emergency is unlikely to face a criminal conviction. The same might not be true for someone who intentionally fails to appear at their trial date.
The key to resolving these cases is seeking legal guidance. A skilled lawyer in the Tavares area could help a person accused of failure to appear deal with these charges and have them dismissed.
What Are the Penalties for Failing to Appear in Court?
The penalties for failing to appear at a court date vary depending on the nature of the charge. Misdemeanor failure to appear charges are less than felony charges.
A misdemeanor offense carries up to a $1,000 fine and a year behind bars. These penalties go up substantially for felony offenses. A felony offense carries a $5,000 fine on top of a five-year prison term. Of course, these consequences only apply when the accused person is convicted. A hardworking lawyer in Tavares could fight a failure to appear conviction, including the consequences that come with it.
Get in Touch With a Tavares Failure to Appear Attorney Today
When you miss a court date, the criminal consequences you face could be steep. Thankfully, you have the legal right to defend yourself against a conviction.
Let a Tavares failure to appear lawyer build the strongest defense strategy possible. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation and let our attorneys help protect your rights.