While missing an appointment or commitment is not usually the end of the world, one place you do not want to skip out on is court. If you miss a court date, you risk facing Failure to Appear charges. These charges, paired with a bench warrant, can earn you more jail time and fines than your original charges may have.
Fortunately, these charges can be contested with the help of an Arizona Failure to Appear lawyer. A knowledgeable defense attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can walk you through your legal rights and fight to have the bench warrant issued against you revoked. Call today to learn more about our legal options.
“Failure to appear” in court refers to a person’s deliberate decision to forego a court date as issued by the court. This behavior can result in additional criminal consequences, which vary in severity based on the nature of the original charge.
Failure to Appear charges can also result in the court issuing a bench warrant. These warrants direct Arizona law enforcement officials to arrest the Defendant and bring him before the court, should the opportunity arise.
There are different degrees when dealing with a person’s failure to appear in court. These break down as follows:
Under Arizona Revised Statute §13-2507, the first time an individual knowingly does not appear before a court in Arizona, the court may convict them of a Class 5 Felony. Class 5 felonies in Arizona include fines of up to $150,000 and jail time of up to 2.5 years. Note that the court will impose these consequences in addition to any that the original charges brought against the defendant might call for.
If the defendant in question fails to appear in court to address a petty offense or misdemeanor, then their Failure to Appear charges can be less severe. According to Arizona Revised Statute 13-2506, a person may have their misdemeanor elevated to a Class 1 Misdemeanor, but they are unlikely to face charges specific to their Failure to Appear.
However, a Defendant with an existing criminal record can have even a Class 2 Misdemeanor elevated to a Class 5 Felony based on the instances surrounding their Failure to Appear. This consequence is meant to discourage future criminal behavior. A knowledgeable Failure to Appear attorney can help an individual in Arizona better understand and defend against the charges brought against them.
As mentioned, all parties who fail to appear before court can face bench warrants requesting their appearance. An Arizona Failure to Appear attorney can work with an individual to defend against this warrant and the related charges.
An attorney can stand between the defendant and the court, serving as a mediator until the warrant is “quashed” or set aside. This allows a defendant to move forward and set a new court date for their original case. An incorrect address, family emergency, or illness could be valid reasons for failing to appear that could lead to a bench warrant being recalled.
There are many reasons that someone may fail to appear in court. However, ignoring charges does not make them go away, and can instead result in serious consequences, including additional notes on your criminal record, jail time, and fines.
Fortunately, you do not have to contend with a bench warrant on your own. If you find yourself facing Failure to Appear accusations, an experienced attorney can help. An Arizona Failure to Appear lawyer can request that the warrant against you be repealed and can work with you to fight back against your original charges. To learn more about how the dedicated team at Grand Canyon Law Group can protect your rights and help restore your way of life, call today.