When you have a court date, your appearance is not optional. Failing to appear on the date and time that the judge has ordered can have harsh consequences, including the judge issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. If you have missed a court date, you may wish to contact a Manassas failure to appear lawyer right away.
Taking a proactive approach by seeking legal assistance may be the most effective way to deal with a bench warrant that a judge has issued for your failure to appear. Until you surrender yourself on a bench warrant or otherwise resolve the warrant, law enforcement officers can arrest you at any time and location. Avoid these unwanted repercussions by enlisting the help of an experienced criminal law attorney today.
Although police typically are not searching out people who have outstanding warrants, individuals with warrants are subject to arrest at any time. The most common circumstances in which individuals are arrested on warrants is during a traffic stop for an unrelated traffic violation. Once arrested on the warrant, individuals may find it much more difficult to rectify the situation.
Individuals with bench warrants generally may wish to take a proactive approach to handle those warrants. In some cases, persons miss court dates due to a genuine mistake or an emergency that caused their absence. A Manassas failure to appear attorney may be able to take the steps needed to address the warrant and persuade the court to allow individuals another chance to appear in court.
For individuals who have failed to appear in court, perhaps even intentionally, there are still options that may be available. As these individuals already are facing the possibility of criminal sanctions for the underlying criminal charges, failing to deal with the failure to appear warrant promptly can create more legal problems that have a potentially unpleasant outcome. Legal counsel can act on behalf of persons in this situation to possibly achieve a better resolution to the outstanding warrant.
Individuals may face significant penalties for failure to appear in court, including a criminal charge for failure to appear that is separate from the first criminal offense. As a result, individuals may receive a sentence for failure to appear in addition to a punishment for the original criminal charges, if convicted. Dealing with a failure to appear warrant effectively and quickly may be the best way to avoid additional criminal penalties.
Under Va. Code § 19.2-128, failing to appear in court for a misdemeanor criminal offense can result in a separate criminal misdemeanor charge, whereas failing to appear for a felony offense can result in a felony failure to appear charge. A misdemeanor charge can result in a maximum one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, a felony charge can result in a prison sentence ranging from one to five years and a $2,500 fine.
Regardless as to whether individuals fail to appear on a felony or misdemeanor charge, they will forfeit any bond that they previously posted as a result of the original criminal charges. The judge also may issue a contempt citation, which can result in up to ten days in jail and a $250 fine.
The outcome of a failure to appear warrant can have severe consequences and avoiding these consequences may only be a possibility if individuals immediately consult with a failure to appear lawyer in Manassas.
Failing to appear in court is more common than you might think. Whether you unintentionally missed a court date or just were not ready to face your criminal charges, failing to appear can result in more criminal penalties if you do not take immediate action to remedy the situation.
A Manassas failure to appear lawyer may be able to intervene on your behalf with the court and reach a solution that does not involve you going to jail. Until you take steps to remedy the warrant that the court has issued for your arrest, you are subject to arrest at any moment. Rather than ending up in jail and enduring the public humiliation of an arrest, you may wish to consider contacting counsel and exploring your options for resolving this matter.
Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.