When you are facing criminal charges or receive a traffic ticket, you will
be ordered to appear in court before a judge and possibly a jury. While
traffic tickets usually only require a single appearance, certain criminal
charges will likely require several appearances, all of which will also
be required. But what happens if you miss one of these appointments? There
are several consequences, all of which can be extremely serious.
Failure to Appear
If you miss a court date, you could be charged with a crime known as “failure
to appear,” which is normally considered a misdemeanor. However,
if the crime you were scheduled to face at your appearance is a felony,
failure to appear increases to a Class D felony charge, which carries
even heavier additional penalties.
What usually happens when you fail to appear is your judge issue a warrant
for your arrest, which means that law enforcement can arrest you on sight
and take you into custody. This is most likely done if you are pulled
over for a routine traffic stop, but law enforcement could take things
into their own hands and go to your home or place of employment to execute
Penalties for failure to appear can include:
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000
- Class D Felony: Between six months and three years in prison and a fine
of up to $10,000
What if I Get Sick?
This is a perfectly valid question, as nobody can really control when they
fall ill. If you fail to appear as a result of an illness (and you can
prove said illness prevented you from showing up), then the failure to
appear is said to be willful, which means that your charges will likely
be dismissed. The same rules can apply for something like a natural disaster
or serious accident. Sometimes life happens, and the court understands
that, but only in instances where you truly were rendered unable to appear
for circumstances beyond your control.
What If I Was Never Notified?
When protocol dictates that you are to be notified of your requirement
to appear by mail (such as with a traffic ticket), your notice will be
mailed to the address that is on file with the court records. It is your
duty to ensure that this address is current. If you fail to do so and
you are served notice to appear but never receive the notice due to an
incorrect address, the court does not consider your failure willful.
If you have been charged with failure to appear, you should contact a Noblesville
criminal defense attorney immediately. At
Baldwin, Kyle & Kamish, P.C., we are uniquely qualified to handle your charges, including failure to
appear charges. Attorneys Andrew Baldwin and Mark Kamish are the only
two attorneys in the entire state of Indiana who hold the title of Board
Certified Criminal Law Specialists from the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
We have more than 100 years of criminal defense experience, and can develop
a hard-hitting criminal defense to help you put the law on your side and
work to clear your name.
Call The Criminal Defense Team at Baldwin, Kyle & Kamish, P.C. today
at (888) 988-5659 to schedule a
free initial consultation with a member of our team!