Bronx Failure to Appear Lawyer
When courts require people to appear for and answer to criminal charges, they typically do so using summons. Subsequently, police officers who arrest people they suspect of committing a crime have the authority to release that person after giving them a summons to appear in court at a specific date and time.
It is vitally important for anyone who receives a summons to appear in court to make every possible effort to do so. A failure to appear when required could lead to the filing of new criminal charges. In addition, if a defendant who fails to appear is already on pretrial release, the court has the authority to revoke any bail terms and hold the defendant in custody until the resolution of their case.
A Bronx failure to appear lawyer could help if you are accused of failing to appear for criminal court sessions. You and your criminal defense attorney could work to understand your reasons for not appearing and present defenses in court as to why new charges should not apply.
The Legal Requirement to Appear
All courthouses in the State of New York can require citizens to appear upon request. Most often, this applies to situations where a defendant is accused of committing a criminal act. While police officers typically make an arrest and later transport a prospective defendant to court while still in custody, for many minor offenses the police simply release a defendant immediately upon arrest with a summons to appear in court later for arraignment.
Either way, it is required that defendants appear in court for all scheduled hearings. In fact, prosecutors are empowered to file new criminal charges against defendants who do not appear in court. New York Penal Law §215.58 states that it is a violation-level offense—punishable by up to 15 days in jail—for a defendant to not appear in court on the date that is indicated on their summons ticket, or voluntarily within 30 days afterward.
It is important to remember that this new criminal charge is levied in addition to the core case for which the court issued the summons. In addition, a court may also charge a defendant with bail jumping under NYPL §215.55.
Finally, if a defendant is out on bail awaiting trial for any offense, a failure to appear may result in the forfeiture of that bail and a new charge of at least a misdemeanor level. A Bronx failure to appear attorney could go into further detail regarding the possible consequences for failing to appear for a criminal case.
Avoiding Penalties for Failure to Appear
Sometimes a failure to appear is due to circumstances out of a defendant’s control, such as an illness or other crisis. While this is technically a violation under the terms of the law, courts are usually understanding in situations where genuine emergencies preclude a defendant’s ability to appear as scheduled.
Although a court will issue a bench warrant for a person’s arrest if they fail to appear as ordered, individuals may avoid additional charges if they have a good-faith reason for missing their court date and appear within 30 days afterward. A failure to appear lawyer in The Bronx could help gather medical records, death notices, or other relevant evidence that may help excuse an absence. An accomplished defense lawyer could also work to arrange a planned appearance in court to avoid any confusion about when a defendant is able to appear.
What are the Consequences for a Failure to Appear Conviction?
Any criminal conviction can have collateral consequences. For many people, maintaining their employment or finding suitable housing could become difficult with a criminal conviction on their record. Employers and landlords are under no obligation to accept applications from someone with a criminal record.
These consequences could be much stiffer for those convicted of bail jumping in the first or second degree. Because these offenses are felonies, a conviction could bring about serious limitations on a defendant’s constitutional rights. For example, a felony conviction could cost a person their right to own, possess, or sell firearms. Additionally, a felony could also cost a defendant their right to vote. If someone failed to appear in court, an attorney in the Bronx could help them avoid or minimize the potential penalties.
Missing a Court Date and Suspension of Driving Privileges
Under state law, the court will only notify the Department of Motor Vehicles following a person’s failure to appear for a moving violation ticket. These driving privileges may remain suspended until the defendant not only addresses their missed court date but also pays a fee to the DMV.
It should be noted that this suspension only occurs with the failure to appear for traffic tickets. There is no driver’s license suspension associated with the failure to appear for misdemeanor or felony offenses.
How Can Failure to Appear Charges Complicate the Underlying Criminal Case?
The failure to appear at a hearing during a criminal case carries its own steep penalties. However, missing a court date could also add additional complications to the underlying charge. For instance, a failure to appear charge could have serious implications on a person’s bail. The court could raise the bail or even order a person to remain confined until trial.
The addition of a new charge could also make it more difficult to resolve the underlying case. The additional charge gives the state more leverage when negotiating a plea deal.
Find Out How a Bronx Failure to Appear Attorney Could Help
While the courts generally have some leniency for people who have a good-faith excuse for missing their hearings, the judge would still issue a bench warrant for your arrest in such a situation. In addition, failing to appear can result in new criminal charges.
Working with a Bronx failure to appear lawyer could help preserve your rights to freedom while awaiting the resolution of a criminal case. Contact a dedicated attorney immediately to start exploring the legal options available in your particular circumstances.