Every person who is charged with a criminal offense is given a court date. These court dates are mandatory, and the failure to appear at them will often result in additional criminal charges. Failure to appear charges can produce further consequences, especially when the underlying charge is a felony.
It can be possible to fight back against failure to appear charges and win. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could develop a strategy that establishes to the court that these charges are not appropriate under the circumstances. It could be in your best interest to talk to a Winter Park failure to appear lawyer about your legal options.
There are consequences that come with failing to appear at a court date. The extent of those consequences depends on the type of criminal charge in a person’s underlying criminal case. A Winter Park attorney could help a person charged with failure to appear deal with these consequences, starting with addressing the forfeiture of any bond that might have secured their release from custody.
The most serious consequence that comes with a failure to appear conviction is the potential for incarceration. Every charge of failing to appear at a court hearing has the potential for jail time, but the extent of this penalty depends on the underlying criminal offense.
Any person charged with failing to appear in a felony case will face an additional felony charge. This usually involves a third-degree felony offense which can lead to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $5,000, or a combination of the two.
While the penalties are not as severe in misdemeanor cases, failure to appear on a misdemeanor can still mean time behind bars. A defendant convicted of misdemeanor failure to appear will be charged with an additional misdemeanor offense. This first-degree misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail. Additionally, a person convicted of this offense might also face a fine of no more than $1,000.
It might seem like there is no way to beat a failure to appear charge. After all, this charge stems directly from the court’s own records, and whether or not a person missed a court date seems like a straight-forward issue. Thankfully, a Winter Park failure to appear attorney could help to build a viable defense in these cases.
In some situations, an allegation of missing a court date could be the result of administrative error. It is not unheard of for the court to make a mistake and either fail to notify the defendant of a court date or mistakenly mark them as absent.
In other cases, missing court could be the result of an emergency. If a person missed court because of a medical emergency or because they were incarcerated by another jurisdiction, it might be possible to have this particular charge dismissed.
While many people assume a conviction of failing to appear is inevitable, the reality is these cases are defensible in many instances. With the help of experienced legal counsel from The Umansky Law Firm, it could be possible to beat this charge and avoid any consequences of a conviction. Call a Winter Park failure to appear lawyer today to learn more about your legal options.
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