What You Should Know About Failing to Appear in Court
When you have been accused of a crime, it is essential that you show up in court when requested. Whether you have been issued a traffic ticket or charged with a formal crime, you may be ordered to show up in court. You might have to appear multiple times before the criminal case begins, including for pre-trial conferences or an arraignment. You might also have to attend a hearing, trial, sentencing or any other proceedings associated with a criminal case.
A notice to appear or a summons is an official court order and should not be ignored. Although the laws will vary from one state to another about what happens when you fail to appear, you could be charged with an additional crime, including contempt of court or failure to appear.
Consequences for Not Showing Up After Criminal Charges
Contempt of court is officially failing to obey a court order and can be classified as a non-felony or misdemeanor crime. Failure to appear is a very minor crime or a misdemeanor but the definition and consequences will vary from one state to another. In addition to being charged with a crime when you don’t show up, the court or the judge has a great deal of discretion to take numerous actions.
These include assigning a jail sentence and fines, bench warrants, revoking your bond or suspension of your driver’s license. If you are sentenced to jail without representation, the consequences can be overwhelming and it can be very difficult to figure out what to do next to protect yourself.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
Because of the high stakes involved in any criminal case, you deserve to have a lawyer who has been practicing in this field for many years and one who remains dedicated to looking for the best possible outcome for you, knowing that this may come in a variety of different formats.
Hiring a Marmora NJ Defense Lawyer
Scheduling a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney is strongly recommended to give you the most possible opportunities to get support for your case and to put this issue behind you, ideally with no consequences of a conviction. Contact The Law Offices of John W. Tumelty today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.