What Happens When You Fail to Appear for a Court Date?
If you are arrested for a crime and then released, you likely will be ordered to appear at a later date for a court hearing. All too often, people don’t receive a court notice in the mail giving them the next court date and time, they misplace their court date notice, or they simply forget to go to court as scheduled.
When this happens, however, you have failed to appear under Florida law, which carries its own set of penalties, aside from your criminal charge. If you fail to appear in court, you may have to post another bond, or you may be taken into custody. You also are at risk of having your driver’s license suspended in some cases and you become ineligible for many government benefits, including unemployment compensation, so long as you have an outstanding warrant.
Bench Warrants, Capias & Failures To Appear
Whether you fail to appear in a case involving a criminal traffic offense, a misdemeanor, or a felony, you can be prosecuted under Florida law for the separate crime of failure to appear. If you failed to appear for a court hearing on a misdemeanor, you can be charged with a misdemeanor for failure to appear. If you failed to appear for a court hearing on a felony, you can be charged with a felony for failure to appear.
Furthermore, the judge of the court in which you were scheduled to appear will issue a bench warrant, or capias for your failure to appear in court as ordered. A bench warrant or Capias instructs law enforcement authorities to take you into custody, and they can do so at any time.
You may have to serve time in jail when arrested on a bench warrant or Capias, as well as pay fines and fees. You may have your driver’s license suspended. The judge also may revoke any bond that you previously and/or require you to post a new bond if you were released on your recognizance or otherwise did not post bond. You may be able to post a bond and be released until your next court date or the judge may order that you remain in jail without bond until your case goes to trial.
Getting a Warrant Set Aside Without Going to Jail
If you have failed to appear in court, you should ask a lawyer to take immediate action on your behalf to address any warrant that the court has issued. In a misdemeanor case, an experienced criminal defense attorney often can resolve your warrant and get it set aside, without you appearing in court.
In a felony case, your attorney is unlikely to get the warrant set aside without your presence. If you have a good reason for failing to appear, your attorney may be able to resolve the warrant without you returning to jail.
In any case, it is always better to address an outstanding warrant for failure to appear sooner rather than later. The longer that you have an outstanding warrant, the worse it looks for you.
Call Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Albert Quirantes for Help
The consequences for failing to appear at a court date can be serious, whether you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges. If you have any type of outstanding warrant, you should immediately contact a skilled defense attorney for help. Miami criminal lawyer Albert M. Quirantes provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for individuals who have failed to appear in court and who are charged with various crimes.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 29 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.