If you have been charged with failure to appear (FTA) or have a warrant out for your arrest, you need to act quickly. We highly recommend consulting with one of our Rancho Cucamonga failure to appear lawyers right away. At the Law Offices of Scott D. Henry, our criminal defense attorneys know precisely how these charges and bench warrants are handled by local law enforcement. Our experienced attorneys could skillfully advocate on your behalf to have the warrant cleared, and the FTA charge reduced or dismissed entirely.

What is a Failure to Appear Charge?

If you miss a court appearance that you were required to attend, you can be charged with Failure to Appear under California Penal Code 1320 PC. Many people do not realize the seriousness of this situation and are unaware of the consequences of failing to appear in court. You can face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for a misdemeanor failure to appear conviction and three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for a felony conviction. In certain circumstances, the judge may also order that your driver’s license be suspended.

A lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga could help someone fight a failure to appear charge if they missed their court date. Several matters may require a court appearance. You are required by law to appear in court when:

  • You are ordered to testify in court.
  • You sign a written promise to appear.
  • You receive a subpoena.
  • You have been ordered back to court by a judge.
  • You are ordered to bring certain documents to a court proceeding.

Bond Revocation

Missing a required court date could affect the future terms of your release. If you were initially released on your own recognizance, the judge can change the conditions and now require you to post bail. If you previously posted bail, the judge could substantially increase the new bail amount. The judge can also decide not to release you at all and order you to remain in jail until your next court hearing.

Defenses Failure to Appear

Failing to appear in court as ordered can carry substantial penalties. There are, however, several defenses that could be effective in having the charges reduced or dismissed. Some of these defenses include arguing that:

  • Failing to appear in court was unintentional.
  • It was not meant to “evade the process of the court.”
  • The defendant did not sign an agreement to appear in court.
  • The failure to appear resulted from an emergency, such as serious illness, a natural disaster, or a serious accident.

An attorney in Rancho Cucamonga could review a failure to appear charge and determine what defense may work best. It is important to know that not receiving a notice to appear in the mail is not considered a valid defense. It is always your responsibility to notify the court of any address change.

Consult with a Rancho Cucamonga Failure to Appear Attorney

Failing to show up for a required court date is a serious situation that may result in a warrant for your arrest and serious criminal charges. If you missed your court date, we urge you to consult with our reputable Rancho Cucamonga failure to appear lawyers right away.

Our skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott D. Henry understand what is at stake in this situation. An embarrassing arrest, criminal charges, and possible jail time can result from missing a required court date. Contact our offices today for a free consultation. We could explain the charges and possible solutions and begin fighting to obtain the best possible outcome.

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