Court hearings and appearances are rarely convenient and often conflict with your existing work schedule. Unfortunately, failure to appear in court when summoned carries negative consequences. If you have missed a court hearing or may miss a court date in the future, you should consult an Atlanta failure to appear lawyer for guidance about your legal options.
When you fail to appear in court, you violated a court order. You could face additional criminal charges or enhanced penalties for failing to appear in court. A skilled criminal lawyer could offer valuable advice as to how to handle your situation.
Judges differ widely in their approaches to individuals who fail to appear in court as ordered. However, the underlying legal matter for which the individuals failed to appear also impacts the outcome of this offense. As a result, a person who failed to show up for a hearing on a traffic ticket might face different consequences than someone who failed to show up for a sentencing hearing in a drug possession case.
A likely outcome of failing to appear in court is the issuance of an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant can result in law enforcement officials arresting an individual at their job, their home, or anywhere they are present. To avoid this situation, an individual should strongly consider the merits of contacting a failure to appear lawyer in the area.
The risk of the court issuing an arrest warrant is significantly higher for high-level misdemeanor or felony criminal charges than for a traffic ticket or minor offense. Depending on the situation, legal counsel may arrange a subsequent court hearing or instruct individuals to turn themselves over to law enforcement rather than risk a public arrest. Although this option is never a guarantee, it may be a potential remedy to discuss with a local attorney.
Whether an individual is arrested on a warrant for failure to appear or turn themselves in, they often will remain incarcerated without posting bail. The judge may require that they stay in jail until the rescheduled court date occurs or until the trial date, depending on the severity of the crime. Although an individual can request a bond, the judge may not grant the request.
When incarcerated without bail, an individual can face collateral ramifications of their failure to appear in court. They may lose their job if employed and their home if they become unable to pay for it. They also may leave their family without financial support.
An individual may face penalties separate from those associated with the criminal charges they already are facing. For example, failure to appear in court on a traffic citation can result in up to three days of incarceration and a $200 fine under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 40-13-63. A person who is already on probation for another criminal conviction can have their probation revoked, resulting in additional penalties, including incarceration.
Failure to appear in court for traffic violations or driving-related criminal offenses can also result in the suspension of driving privileges. Loss of a license can have other consequences, such as losing the ability to work and pay necessary housing and related expenses. A nearby failure to appear attorney could explain the full extent of the potential penalties that someone may face for failing to appear in court.
Appearing in court is rarely a pleasant experience and is likely to be highly stressful. However, failing to appear in court is likely to only compound your problems. Contacting an Atlanta failure to appear lawyer may improve your ability to resolve this issue effectively.
No matter what criminal charges you are facing, you are likely to benefit from engaging legal counsel. Doing so may allow you to protect your rights and work toward a better outcome to your charges. Call today to schedule a consultation.