Courts and prosecutors take failure to appear charges very seriously. Missing a scheduled court date can lead to additional sentencing beyond what you may already face for the criminal charges. Even those who were required to appear in court without charges may face penalties for failing to show up.
If you missed a date because of circumstances outside of your control, a skilled defense attorney could work tirelessly to get these charges dismissed. Speak with an experienced North Charleston failure to appear lawyer to discuss your case and possible legal options.
Charges for Missing a Court Date in North Charleston
The potential penalties of failing to appear in court typically depend on the type of criminal charges that the defendant was facing. Missed court dates for less serious matters, such as non-criminal cases, traffic violations, or child support hearings, may only result in the issuance of a bench warrant. If a person appears voluntarily or is arrested and brought to court, the matter is often resolved without additional charges.
However, a person who fails to appear may also be found in contempt of court for missing their court date, resulting in additional penalties. It is possible to defend against contempt and failure to appear charges, so a dedicated local attorney could be a crucial asset in fighting back against these allegations.
Failure to Appear in Misdemeanor and Felony Cases
A failure to appear at a scheduled court hearing for misdemeanor or felony crimes may lead to more serious consequences. Failure to appear in these circumstances could result in a large fine or even time spent in jail. Typically, missing a date for a felony offense is treated more severely than when the missed date is in a misdemeanor case.
The type of charges resulting from a failure to appear often depend on how the situation is explained to the judge. If the missed date is not the defendant’s fault or if there are mitigating circumstances, the judge may be more lenient or even forgive the missed hearing. As such, it is crucial to work with a failure to appear lawyer who knows how to properly present the context of a defendant’s situation to the North Charleston court.
Bail and Own Recognizance Penalties
A failure to appear could result in fines and potential incarceration if a person is released on bail or their own recognizance in a misdemeanor case where the maximum possible sentence is at least one year. If the defendant is found guilty, a missed court date could result in:
- A term of imprisonment for up to one year
- A fine of up to $1,000
When a person is on their own recognizance or bail in felony cases, the penalties are much more severe. These individuals may be forced to stay imprisoned while they await the completion of their trial, in addition to the following penalties:
- A term of imprisonment for up to five years
- A fine of up to $5,000
In these cases, assistance from a hardworking attorney may be necessary to prevent harsh punishments for failing to appear in North Charleston court.
Work with a North Charleston Failure to Appear Attorney
The possible penalties associated with a failure to appear charge are severe and should not be taken lightly. No matter the reason for missing your scheduled hearing, you are entitled to defend yourself against further criminal charges.
A North Charleston failure to appear lawyer could aggressively defend your case and protect your constitutional rights. Schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney at Adams & Bischoff today.