Failing to appear in court for any scheduled appearance is not only a serious violation of the law, but it can also lead to a bench warrant issued for your immediate arrest. It can also involve costly fines and driver's licenses suspension. Failure to appear is not a minor crime and is often pursued aggressively by law enforcement, regardless of how full its dockets may be.
What Will Happen After a Failure to Appear in Court?
A judge will put out a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear and depending on the warrant. You may wonder - "can you still fight your charge, even if I missed court?" Yes, you can, but it can make it harder. For instance, let's say you get picked up for a warrant for failing to appear, but you're sitting there for a little bit, and then the state makes you an offer of probation. So, you're looking at a decision: do I take a charge, which I may not be guilty to, because I know it will get me out right away, or do I sit in jail and fight it? That's a tough call that depends on the facts of the case and on your willingness to sit in jail. But it always makes your attorney's job harder when you miss court. This is because the State now has leverage on you that they didn't have before. You significantly lessen your bargaining power when you miss a court date, now often resulting in a warrant out for your arrest. This may introduce you to the stressful situation of having to look over your back until you get it taken care of. So, when that happens, if you didn't have the lawyer before, you could need a lawyer then, because a lawyer could do a motion to quash the warrant, or set a warrant aside. Sometimes, you can get that taken care of before you have to turn yourself in to jail. Some of the judges are going to want you to go turn yourself in first before you can even address it. Because of all of these circumstances, try to avoid missing court. An attorney can excuse you from the initial court dates.
Being proactive is vital. The first step is contacting an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney at The Umansky Law Firm if you failed to appear for
- A civil or criminal case
- A promise to return following a release from custody
- Traffic violation or citation
- Showing completion of court-ordered community service
- Jury summons for jury duty
How to Handle a Failure to Appear in Florida
Do not wait for the police to find you. We have experience defending cases involving failure to appear. At The Umansky Law Firm, we stand by your side throughout the entire process, starting with the initial appearance in court following the bench warrant. Taking action on your own and admitting the mistake could minimize the consequences you face. Securing the services of an attorney can avoid a large amount of bail and remove the "flight risk" status.
Appearing before an arrest allows us to negotiate the terms of your release and the possible dismissal of the bench warrant.
Do You Need a Second Chance? Contact Us Day or Night.
If you are charged with failure to appear, call our criminal defense attorneys in Orlando to schedule a free initial consultation. You can contact us through our website or call (407) 228-3838.
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