When you are required to appear in court, it is best to make every possible attempt to be there. If you do not show up when required, you could be charged with Failure to Appear, and the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest.

If you missed a court-ordered appearance, we urge you to contact our San Bernardino failure to appear lawyers. We understand that failing to appear in court may have been caused by a genuine mistake or circumstances beyond your control. Our dedicated attorneys could get you back on track by advocating skillfully on your behalf to clear your bench warrant and have your Failure to Appear (FTA) charge dismissed or reduced.

What are Bench Warrants?

A bench warrant, sometimes referred to as a “body attachment,” is the most common warrant issued in this area. These warrants are issued when an individual fails to appear in court, pay a fine, or obey a court order. A bench warrant allows law enforcement to locate and apprehend the individual and bring them to court.

If a bench warrant has been issued in your name, you must get it cleared. Otherwise, you face being arrested and either released with a warning or put into jail. To avoid and arrest and possible jail time, it is essential to hire an experienced warrants attorney who can appear on your behalf and advocate for the recall of your bench warrant.

Penalties for Failing to Appear in Court

If you missed a court date, you can be charged with Failure to Appear under California Penal Code 1320 PC. Many defendants are unaware of the seriousness of their situation and do not fully understand the consequences of failing to appear in court. If you are convicted of these charges, you can face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for a misdemeanor conviction and three years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 for a felony conviction.

In addition, the judge could change the terms of your release. They could require you to post bail, increase the original bail amount, or require you to remain in custody until your next court hearing. An attorney in San Bernardino could help someone facing failure to appear charges minimize or avoid the penalties of this offense.

Legal Defense for Missing a Court Date

If you failed to appear in court, you may face harsh consequences. Fortunately, several defenses could prove effective in having your charge dismissed or reduced. Some solid defenses include:

  • Failing to appear in court was unintentional.
  • It was not meant to “evade the process of the court”.
  • You never signed an agreement to appear in court.
  • The missed appearance resulted from an emergency, such as serious illness, a natural disaster, or a serious accident.

A San Bernardino attorney could determine how to best build a defense for failing to appear in court after reviewing the circumstances of the case.

Consult with a Top San Bernardino Failure to Appear Attorney

To best resolve these charges, you should consult with our top San Bernardino failure to appear lawyers. Our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry could negotiate effectively to resolve the issue, helping you to avoid a possible arrest and conviction. To get started on your case, call today.

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