What does failure to appear mean?

If you have accidently missed a court appearance or a roll-call date you may be told that your case status has been changed to “failure to appear.” What does this mean for you?

In almost all instances when you miss a court appearance, even accidently, the court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. This means that you are subject to arrest and being returned to jail. This time, instead of being able to make bond again in a few hours, you are held until the conclusion of your case. This can mean sitting in jail for weeks or months while you wait on a court-date.

Many times this happens to people who haven’t yet hired a lawyer. This is because when people are represented the lawyer’s office helps to remind them of court, and also because the prosecutor’s offices usually (although this isn’t required) will call a lawyer prior to requesting a bench warrant.

If this has happened to you, either because you got your dates mixed up or you tried to ignore your legal situation (never a good idea), there are steps that we can help you take to try to help.

The first thing that we will do is to contact the court, prosecutor, and your bail bondsman, to explain your circumstance.

Sometimes this will be all it takes, and your court date can be rescheduled or a bench warrant cancelled.

If it is already too late to reschedule your case, we will notify the court that we are requesting a hearing to ask to formally request to lift the warrant

If our client is already in jail, we can sometimes accelerate the resolution of a case. Over the past few months we have done this several times and still obtained favorable results such as reductions in charges and time-served sentences. Any result our lawyers have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate that similar results can be obtained for other clients.

The most important thing for someone to do in this situation is to act, quickly. The sooner you contact a lawyer the better are the chances that you can avoid going to jail or the sooner you can arrange for a release.

Contact our firm today for a free case evalutation!

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