Gillette Failure to Appear/Report & Pay Fines Defense Attorneys
When a person is summoned to court, appearance is not optional. You may be ordered to appear in court if you got a traffic ticket, were charged with a crime, were summoned to testify in a criminal or civil case, or for jury duty. If you fail to show up for the scheduled court date, you will likely be charged with failure to appear – a criminal offense with serious consequences.
If you failed to appear in court in a civil matter or for a minor offense such as a traffic ticket, the judge will probably issue a bench warrant against you. While the warrant is in effect, if you get stopped for any reason, such as a busted taillight or an expired registration sticker, the warrant will show up in law enforcement’s system and the police officer will arrest you immediately.
If you failed to appear in court on a more serious criminal matter, however, the judge will issue an arrest warrant and police will be more likely to track you down. Failure to appear is a crime in itself. Even if you are found not guilty of the original charges or your case is dismissed, you can be convicted of failure to appear in court.
In addition to a warrant for your arrest, penalties for failure to appear may include:
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Jail time
In a criminal case, if you were out on bail, you are automatically in violation of bond conditions when you fail to appear for a court date. You will forfeit the posted bond and be rearrested. To be released from jail, you will need to post bail again, at an amount that is likely to be substantially higher. In a civil case, if you fail to appear for a court date, the judge may rule in favor of the other party.
Severity of the penalties you face for failure to appear in court will depend on the surrounding circumstances. Regardless, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced Gillette failure to appear defense attorney as soon as possible.
To find you guilty of failure to appear, the court must determine that you had proper notice of the court date and willfully did not appear. If the failure was not willful and circumstances beyond your control prevented you from appearing in court at the designated time and place, you may have a defense against the charges.
There will be an opportunity for your attorney to present your defense to the judge during a hearing. Common valid defenses against these charges include:
- You did not receive proper notice of the scheduled court date.
- Your presence was required for a different court appearance scheduled at an earlier time than the one you missed.
- There was a death in your family.
- You were seriously ill or injured in an accident.
- A natural disaster, such as an earthquake, flood, or tornado, prevented you from appearing.
If the court is satisfied with the evidence presented, it may decide not to charge you with failure to appear. If that is the case, it is important to appear for all remaining court dates, as the court will be less lenient a second time around.
Our Gillette criminal defense attorneys at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. are here to help you navigate the criminal justice system and to ensure your rights are upheld. If you have been charged with failure to appear in Campbell County, call us at (307) 257-7800 for a free case strategy session.
Your FREE Case Strategy Session
On All Injury and Criminal Cases
Contact our office right now to speak to
someone who wants to help you.