South Carolina courts take their dockets seriously, and so must you. If you fail to appear in court when ordered, you may face harsh consequences that will only add to your legal and financial woes. A Charleston failure to appear lawyer may be able to help resolve a situation in which you are facing repercussions for failure to appear in court.
When you fail to appear in court, the court may opt to hold you in jail for an undetermined amount of time, which can jeopardize your job, your education, and your family. Avoiding a bench warrant for failure to appear can be crucial to maintaining your life as usual and being able to work and pay bills. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to give you advice about handling a missed court date or failure to appear in court.
What are the Consequences of Failure to Appear in Court in Charleston?
A court can issue a bench warrant for the arrest of individuals who have failed to appear. The court may issue an order on its own volition or upon the request of the prosecutor assigned to the case.
Once a court issues a bench warrant, it goes to all law enforcement agencies. If caught, an arrestee can remain in jail until they appear in court and the judge agrees to release them, or a nearby lawyer intervenes and potentially gets them out of jail.
The consequences of a failure to appear beyond a court order may vary. For severe criminal charges, individuals may remain in jail or be forced to pay an additional bail bond. In less severe cases, individuals may have to pay a fine.
Steps to Take Following a Failure to Appear
The first step following a failure to appear in court should be to contact an attorney in Charleston immediately. The sooner that an individual takes steps to resolve the situation, the more likely they are to achieve a positive result, especially if they truly made a mistake or had an emergency that prevented them from appearing in court.
Depending on the circumstances, legal counsel may be able to persuade the court to recall the bench warrant or file a motion to reopen the case. A recall could allow individuals to appear in court on another date and avoid arrest. Taking this step may also prevent individuals from spending unanticipated time in jail.
Seek Representation from a Charleston Failure to Appear Attorney
In some cases, you might fail to appear because you forgot your court date, a child was sick, or a close relative died. In other cases, your failure to appear might be due to an error by the court or a notice getting lost in the mail. Whatever the reason, you should not hesitate to take the steps necessary to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
A failure to appear in court can result in contempt of court charges, as well as a court order for your arrest. If law enforcement officers arrest you on the warrant, you may have to stay in jail until the court sets a hearing or a Charleston failure to appear lawyer can help resolve the situation. To avoid this risk, you should seek immediate advice from legal counsel.