There may be many reasons for a person to miss their court appearance. If you miss your court date, it is vital that you take care of it. Do not just ignore it and hope it “goes away”. However, if you appear in court without a dedicated criminal defense lawyer to explain your absence to the court, you are far more likely to be arrested due to the violation.
Whether you were in an accident on the way to court or made an honest mistake on your calendar, call the lawyers at Grand Canyon Law Group for supportive legal advice. A Chandler failure to appear lawyer at our firm can work to protect you from steep fines and potential jail time.
Felony criminal cases typically involve several court appearances, including:
According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-2507, it is a Class 5 felony to knowingly miss a court date for felony charges. The penalty for first-time offenders is between six and thirty months in jail and a fine of up to $150,000.
Along with failure to appear, an absent defendant can also be charged with contempt of court, which is a misdemeanor crime.
A person who knowingly does not show up to a court date when charged with a misdemeanor or petty offense commits failure to appear in the second degree, according to A.R.S. § 13-2506. Even if the charge is dismissed, not appearing for the disposition could be penalized with up to six months in jail and a possible fine of up to $2,500.
A.R.S. § 13-2506 also addresses a party’s missed court date after being personally served with written notice, or after promising in writing to appear in court.
After being arrested, a person may sign the officer’s written complaint and notice promising to appear in court on a specific date in exchange for being released from custody. Not appearing in court after signing the notice is a Class 2 misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to four months in jail and $750 in fines.
Additionally, the court can issue a bench warrant for the arrest of anyone who misses a required court appearance. In this scenario, the police are notified and will be on the lookout to arrest the person once they are found. Those arrested on failure to appear warrants often must stay in jail until a hearing is scheduled before a judge. However, a persistent attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group could file a motion to quash the warrant, set a hearing date to appear with a client, and explain to the court what happened.
A defendant who posted bail for a criminal charge and then failed to appear at a court-mandated hearing could have their bond revoked. In this case, the defendant will most likely be returned to jail and could also forfeit the bond money, according to A.R.S. 13-3858.
Defendants who fail to appear in court may have their driver’s license immediately suspended by the court. Suspension is common if the underlying charge is traffic-related, such as a traffic ticket or criminal charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
Regardless of the reason for missing your court-ordered hearing, you need assertive legal representation to avoid hefty fines and potential jail time. If a bench warrant has been issued for your arrest after you failed to appear at a court hearing, call Grand Canyon Law Group to schedule your initial consultation. Our Chandler failure to appear lawyers are here to help you and fight for your freedom.