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    Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter

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      Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter

          Alameda Failure to Appear Lawyer

          When you fail to show up to a court date, the consequences can be severe. Depending on the nature of your case, you could risk having the court issue a warrant for your arrest. An Alameda failure to appear lawyer may be able to assist you in resolving an outstanding warrant for failure to appear. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could work toward a resolution of your failure to appear to minimize the penalties that you could face.

          Failure to Appear on Misdemeanor Charges

          In some cases, individuals charged with misdemeanor offenses are released from jail on their own recognizance (O.R.), or without paying bail. This sort of release typically occurs in the cases of first-time offenders with non-violent, minor charges. At the time of their release, they sign an O.R. agreement, in which they agree to appear at all upcoming court dates and indicate that they understand the penalties for failing to appear.

          If individuals willfully miss a court date concerning a misdemeanor offense, they can face a separate offense for failure to appear under California Penal Code § 1320. In Alameda, it is presumed that individuals willfully failed to appear if they or a lawyer fail to contact the court within 14 days of their original court dates. Penalties for a misdemeanor failure to appear conviction may include up to six months in county jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

          Additionally, if individuals fail to appear on court dates for traffic offenses, the court likely is to suspend their driver’s licenses. This sanction applies to crimes such as DUI, reckless driving, or driving without insurance.

          Missing a Felony Charge Court Date

          Individuals who are facing felony charges must pay bail to be released from jail following an arrest, although some are released on their own recognizance, as well. They then must appear at a series of court dates. Failure to attend those dates as required could result in a separate felony failure to appear charge under Cal. Pen. Code § 1320.5.

          Potential sanctions for felony failure to appear could include up to three years of incarceration and a maximum $5,000 fine if they were released on their own recognizance. If they were released after paying bail, the maximum fine increases to $10,000. A failure to appear lawyer in Alameda may be able to defend individuals against charges of failure to appear in court to avoid or minimize these penalties.

          Fighting Back Against a Failure to Appear Charge

          Failing to appear has additional consequences besides incarceration and fines. For individuals already are on probation, missing a court date would qualify as a probation violation, which can result in a complete revocation of probation and a jail sentence.

          In some cases, an attorney in Alameda may be able to provide evidence that the defendant did not willfully fail to appear in court. Individuals may have good reasons for missing, including severe illness, emergency surgery, the sudden death or illness of an immediate family member, or a missed, delayed, or canceled flight. If individuals can produce documentation showing justification for missing court, they may be able to escape or reduce some of the potentially adverse ramifications of a failure to appear.

          Contact an Alameda Failure to Appear Attorney

          Whether you were hospitalized, attending a funeral for a loved one, or forgot about your court dates, you may have a better outcome if you promptly take steps to resolve the matter. Contacting an Alameda failure to appear lawyer may be the best means of resolving this situation. Call now to schedule a consultation.


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