Scott Henry and his trusted legal team are committed to providing tough, uncompromising defenses for those faced with serious criminal charges. We offer extensive experience, a wealth of knowledge, and vast resources. If you missed a required court date, consult with our Ontario failure to appear lawyers as soon as possible. Without representation from a skilled criminal defense attorney, you may face a serious misdemeanor or felony conviction in addition to a potentially embarrassing public arrest. Our team could explain the circumstances surrounding your missed court appearance to the judge and negotiate effectively to have your warrant cleared and your charges either reduced or dismissed. To obtain a favorable resolution to this matter, call the Law Offices of Scott Henry today for a free consultation. 

Required Court Appearances

If you have been ordered to appear in court, it is crucial to do as required. Missing a court appearance can have serious consequences that can even include jail time. There are several matters that require you to appear in court. Court appearances are generally necessary when you:

  • Are charged with a crime
  • Sign a written promise to appear
  • Have been ordered to testify in court
  • Received a subpoena
  • Have been ordered back to court by the judge
  • Are ordered to bring documentation to a court proceeding

What Happens if I Fail to Appear in Court?

Missing a required court date can have devastating consequences. If you miss a required court appearance, the judge may issue a bench warrant in your name. This means that officers can arrest you anywhere – your home, place of employment, or any public place you frequent. You will also likely be charged with failure to appear (FTA) under California Penal Code 1320 PC. FTA is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, largely depending on the original charge. Misdemeanor failure to appear convictions carry penalties of a maximum of six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Felony failure to appear convictions carry a harsh sentence of a maximum of three years in state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. A lawyer in Ontario could help someone mitigate the penalties of a failure to appear charge.

Legal Defenses a Failure to Appear Attorney Could Pursue

The considerable, far-reaching consequences of a failure to appear charge may be avoidable if your Ontario attorney builds a strong, persuasive defense strategy. Solid defense arguments include:

  • Lack of intent
  • Arguing that the defendant never signed a written promise to appear
  • Arguing that missing the court date was not an attempt to “evade the process of the court.”
  • Missing the court date was a result of circumstances beyond control. These emergencies can include a natural disaster, serious illness, or accident.

Expunging a Failure to Appear Conviction

In California, you can generally have a failure to appear conviction expunged. An expungement releases you from all “penalties and disabilities” resulting from the conviction by having it set aside. An individual can generally have their conviction expunged if they:

  • Completed all of the terms of their probation
  • Did not serve their sentence in state prison
  • Are not currently charged with a crime, serving a sentence for a criminal conviction, or on probation for a criminal offense

An Ontario lawyer could help someone expunge their failure to appear charge.

Call an Ontario Failure to Appear Attorney

When you miss a required court date, you run the risk of serious consequences, including an embarrassing public arrest, criminal charges, suspension of your driving privileges, and jail time. Time is of the essence when facing a bench warrant and serious criminal charges. If you missed a required court appearance, we strongly advise acting quickly to obtain legal representation from an Ontario failure to appear lawyer.

Our trusted legal team at the Law Offices of Scott Henry knows precisely how these charges are pursued. We could handle your case in a professional and competent manner. Call our offices right away for a free consultation with one of our leading defense lawyers.

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