Court appointments should always be taken seriously, including hearings for traffic violations. Failing to show up to a scheduled court date is a punishable offense. Contact a Goose Creek failure to appear lawyer for help handling a missed court appearance.
Whether there was an emergency, or you were never notified of a mandatory court hearing to begin with, an attorney could approach the court on your behalf and explain the reason for your absence.
Goose Creek Bench Warrants for Failing to Appear
When a person fails to appear for a mandatory court appointment, the judge will often issue a bench warrant. A bench warrant authorizes law enforcement officers to place an individual under arrest. Once arrested, the individual could be detained, and they can be brought before the court.
Depending on the type of court hearing that was missed, a person might not be immediately arrested as soon as a bench warrant is issued. Law enforcement does not necessarily track the individual down if a person failed to appear for a speeding ticket. However, if the individual is pulled over for a new traffic violation, an arrest could happen once the police run the individual’s record and see the bench warrant.
It is also possible that a person could be held in contempt of court for failing to appear. The consequences of being held in contempt could include fines, public service hours, or even jail time. A legal advisor who provides assistance with. failure to appear cases in Goose Creek could explain more about bench warrants and the possibility of being charged with contempt.
Consequences of Failure to Appear in Goose Creek
In addition to the issuance of a bench warrant or the possibility of contempt charges, a person could face additional criminal charges and sanctions for not reporting to the court. Defendants who do not show up to court for misdemeanor criminal charges could be sanctioned with a $1,000 fine and a one-year jail sentence. Those sanctions would be imposed in addition to whatever penalties are issued for the misdemeanor offense if convicted.
Not reporting to court in a felony criminal case could result in a five-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine. Again, just as with misdemeanor cases, any penalties imposed for failure to appear in a felony case are on top of the sentence handed down for the original felony crime, if convicted. A legal representative familiar with Goose Creek’s laws on failing to appear in court could fight to avoid or minimize additional sanctions for a missed court date.
Reach Out to a Goose Creek Failure to Appear Attorney
You should consult with a Goose Creek failure to appear lawyer right away if you were unable to attend a court hearing. It does not matter if the missed court appointment was only for a traffic violation and not a criminal offense. A bench warrant could still have been issued and could affect your future prospects because it could be viewed by anyone who runs a background check on you, such as a potential employer.
You should not ignore a bench warrant just because the police are not making an immediate arrest. Reach out to an attorney who could check for any bench warrants and work to resolve the issue immediately before additional sanctions are imposed.