judge gavel on table

What Happens Upon Failure to Appear Before the Court

If you find yourself dealing with a criminal charge, understand that there is no other way but to respond. Failure to do within the deadline of four days can lead to dire consequences, most of which remain unclear and unpredictable. In some cases, individuals can mail responses late with no repercussions, but others can be not so lucky. 

You may be asked to appear in court for something as simple as a traffic ticket, and something as heavy as a crime of murder. If a situation calls for you to appear in court, you need to do so at a scheduled time and date. 

To ensure that you know exactly what to do during a criminal charge citation, here is a quick guide for you: 

What happens if I fail to appear in court?

If you fail to show up for an appointed court date, it will be considered a criminal offense. It often results in criminal charges, formally called “Failure to Appear”. The weight of the consequences depends on the state you currently reside in, as the offense can either be deemed as a misdemeanor or a felony offense. In addition to the Failure to Appear charge, you may also be forced to face the following repercussions:

  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Suspension or revocation of driver’s license
  • A bench warrant for the arrest

Bear in mind that the circumstances still depend on the factors surrounding your court date, however. The court may end up dismissing your case altogether or perhaps automatically ruling in favor of the other party involved, especially if you fail to appear before the court. 

Is it possible to create a defense against the Failure to Appear charge?

If you have been charged with the Failure to Appear, you must have been provided proper notice of your court appointment. This is usually delivered by in-hand or certified mail, and should the court find that you have intentionally refused to come to the court, you face the consequences.

As with every criminal charge, however, you are still deemed under the law as a human being. And as a human being, you are protected by rights. However, there are reasons deemed valid in the eyes of the court:

  • No proper notice regarding your court date
  • You are scheduled for another court appearance
  • You are dealing with a serious illness
  • You have had an accident
  • There has been a death in your family
  • There is a natural disaster, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes 

If you can prove that you have undergone one of these circumstances, the court will look favorably upon your failure to respond or appear. If you have been granted the courtesy, however, make sure to keep a close eye on your subsequent court dates. Failure to appear in your next appointed dates may lead to direr repercussions.

Work With a Boston Criminal Lawyer

If you find yourself facing a criminal citation, the best course of action is to always respond and appear before the court. No matter your criminal charge, understand that the law still favors you—everyone is innocent until proven guilty, so make sure to strengthen your case by appearing before the judge as necessary.

To help you win your cases, however, it’s best to work with a professional. For the best criminal attorneys in Boston, there is only one place to go: The Fernandez Firm. Attorney Frank Fernandez offers you defense strategies on all types of criminal charges and is regarded as one of the best industry experts in criminal law. Allow him and his team to help—book a consultation today.