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In some cases, someone charged with a crime is released from custody and ordered to appear in court later. However, if he or she fails to appear in court on the established date, he or she could face legal repercussions.

If you or someone you know missed a court date, you might need to consult with a well-practiced defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Martinez failure to appear lawyer could fight your charges and help you avoid additional consequences.

Requirements When Released from Custody

A person released from custody after being charged or pleading guilty will likely post bail or be released on his or her own recognizance. Generally, defendants released on their own recognizance must sign a written agreement that they will:

  • Show up in court whenever ordered to
  • Comply with all court-imposed conditions
  • Not travel outside of the state without approval

What are the Charges Associated for Missing a Court Date?

A defendant released on his or her own recognizance or bail that willfully fails to appear at the mandated court date could face a failure to appear charge, as codified under California Penal Code §1320 and 1320.5. To convict someone of this charge, a prosecutor will have to prove that the defendant:

  • Was charged with or convicted of a crime in the state
  • Was released from custody
  • Deliberately failed to appear at a required court date
  • Intentionally evaded the process of the court

Intentionally evading the process of the court refers to a defendant attempting to avoid the penalties of his or her charges. Emergencies and similar circumstances may be a credible defense against a failure to appear charge if the defendant informed the court beforehand within a reasonable amount of time. A defendant could discuss his or her reason for missing a court date with a local attorney.

What are the Penalties for Failing to Appear in Court?

The penalties a defendant could face for missing his or her court date are contingent upon the underlying criminal charges. Additionally, the court can impose a fine of up to $300 for any defendant that fails to appear in court for a court-ordered infraction, misdemeanor, or felony proceeding, as per Cal. P.C. §1214.1. A skilled Martinez attorney could review a defendant’s case history and fight for a dismissal of the failure to appear charge.

Misdemeanor Charges

A defendant with a misdemeanor charge or conviction who was released on his or her own recognizance could face orders to complete misdemeanor probation, up to six months in county jail, pay a fine of up to $1,000, or all three of these penalties.

Felony Offense

A defendant with a felony charge or conviction who was released on his or her own recognizance could face felony probation, up to a year in jail or three years in state prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or all three.

Felony Charges with Bail

A defendant charged with a felony that required bail for release could face felony probation, up to a year in county jail or three years in state prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or all three penalties. Additionally, a defendant will likely not have his or her money returned for posting bail.

Consult with a Martinez Failure to Appear Attorney Today

It is essential that someone who missed his or her court date acts quickly because the court may have issued a warrant for his or her arrest. Sometimes emergencies occur that prevent people from being able to attend an established court date. An understanding Martinez failure to appear lawyer could fight on your behalf for a speedy dismissal of your charges. Call today to schedule a consultation with one of our accomplished attorneys.

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The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

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When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

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