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If you are summoned to appear in court for any reason, you are required under penalty of law to be present. This is true regardless of whether you are answering a criminal allegation against you or participating in someone else’s trial. Failing to follow court instructions can lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest. You may even face additional criminal sanctions beyond your original offense.
It is possible to positively resolve missed court dates with help from a Tolleson failure to appear lawyer. If you missed a court appearance for any reason, contacting a skilled attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group to discuss your legal options should be your top priority.
Failure to appear can be a second-degree or first-degree offense—respectively defined under Arizona Revised Statutes §§13-2506 and 13-2507. The specific charges depend on what type of court proceeding the defendant failed to appear for.
Someone may be charged with failing to appear in the second degree if they knowingly fail to appear for a hearing related to a misdemeanor or petty offense charge. This is a class 1 misdemeanor, meaning a convicted person could face a maximum six-month term in jail, a $2,500 fine, and other surcharges.
Knowingly failing to appear after promising in writing or being served written notice to appear for any other court proceeding is a class 2 misdemeanor. Maximum penalties for this offense include four months of jail time and $750 in fines, plus surcharges.
On the other hand, failing to appear in connection to a felony charge is a class 5 felony. As a Tolleson failure to appear attorney can explain, a first-time offender may face between six and 30 months in state prison upon conviction, depending on mitigating or aggravating conditions. Harsher sentencing ranges will apply to repeat offenders or people with prior felony convictions.
Suppose someone can prove that they only failed to appear in court because they never received a notice or had a serious emergency. In that case, they may be able to convince the court to drop the new charge against them and reschedule the original hearing. However, it is essential to communicate honestly with the court as quickly as possible in this kind of situation. Waiting even a few days to explain things could be treated as evidence of intent to break the law. A failure to appear lawyer at our firm can explain the situation to the court and help clear up any misunderstandings.
Dealing with a failure to appear charge is not something you should procrastinate on under any circumstances. A delay of even a day or two in contacting the court and explaining your absence could have disastrous consequences for you. You may even face a felony-level conviction, which could affect you for the rest of your life.
A conversation with a Tolleson failure to appear lawyer can help you understand your options and choose the best path forward. Do not wait to get the legal representation you need. Schedule a meeting by calling Grand Canyon Law Group today.