Articles Posted in Failures To Appear

When you have been arrested for violating a criminal law, it is merely on suspicion. You have not yet been found guilty, and therefore there is no conviction. The State of California must go through the legal procedures and find you guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt. Only then can they convict you of the criminal charge. They may also find you guilty if you enter a plea of guilty.

In order for the state to begin the legal process, they must summon you to Court. When you are arrested, you are given a court date on your citation, or arrest report. This is not a voluntary date, you MUST appear before the Judge on or before that date. This is your arraignment date. There may be potential consequences if you do not show up to court on your scheduled date, depending on whether or not you are represented by a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer.

If you are represented by a legal professional, you do not need to appear in court. Not personally appearing will make no difference to your case. It is the court’s understanding that the lawyer you have hired represents your best interests and is there to protect your rights. The lawyer will speak to the Judge or the Prosecutor with exactly that in mind and the Judge is aware that he or she will be speaking to your attorney directly, whether or not you are there. Many people mistakenly believe that if they are physically there it will leave a better impression on the Court. This is untrue. Most appearances are relatively quick, and the bulk of the work is done through negotiations between the attorney and the prosecutor. For those negotiations, you would not be present, regardless of whether it was in or out of court. Therefore, it is much more convenient for you to let your attorney appear on your behalf. After all, that is what you have hired them to do.

When a person is asked by the Court to appear on a certain date, it is extremely important that they adhere to the request. If it is absolutely implausible for them to be able to make the scheduled hearing, they must take steps to inform the court or to change the date.

When the scheduled appearance is missed, a Bench Warrant is issued on the person who failed to appear. A Bench Warrant is an order made by the Judge that allows law enforcement to pick up the person and bring them before the Judge to explain their failure to appear. This allows police to bring you into court if you are pulled over for any routine stop, and give them the right to come to your house and take you to court.

A failure to appear can become a serious issue, if not taken care of right away. It not only gives off a negative impression of a person, but also causes unnecessary hassle in your life.

When people have been charged with a criminal case, one of the biggest worries is appearing in court on the scheduled date. If you fail to appear on your scheduled date, it can result in a bench warrant which will lead to your arrest. Fortunately, if you have hired a California Criminal Defense Attorney to represent you, in most cases you will not have to be bothered with appearing in court.

Once a Criminal Defense attorney is hired, they will be able to appear on your behalf in front of the judge under certain circumstances. When an attorney appears on your behalf, it is called appearing 977 (after the appropriate California Penal code section). An attorney is authorized to appear on your behalf in any misdemeanor case, unless explicitly ordered otherwise by the Judge. For felony cases, however, the person accused must appear before the Judge unless granted permission to have an attorney appear on their behalf.

Hiring an attorney not only ensures that you are getting experienced and knowledgeable defense, but its alleviates the hassle and stress of having to appear in court. With work and social obligations it is hard to clear out a whole weekday morning to sit and wait until you are called before the Judge, a process that can take two to three hours.

A failure to appear can result from a variety of different circumstances, including not appearing in court after receiving a ticket or moving violations by the date or deadline listed on the violation citation. Signing the bottom of a ticket for a moving violation is acknowledging that you promise to appear by the court date set on the ticket. Another common reason for clients receiving failures to appear is by not paying your fine or completing your community service by the date set by the court.

A bench warrant is similar to a failure to appear, except they are ordered by a Judge in a misdemeanor or felony case. Once a bench warrant has been ordered, a bail amount is set by the judge. Essentially a bail or bond amount is the amount of money that must be posted by the person in custody to obtain their release. There are two ways to a obtain a person’s release who is in custody. The most common way is to retain the services of a qualified bail bondsman who can obtain one’s release for a fee of 8 to 10% of the bond amount. Frequently a bondsman requires some security like owning a house or other property in the jurisdiction where the person is in custody. Another less frequently used method is for the bond amount to be posted by paying the face value with a cashier’s check or money order. There is no loss of any of this money and no fee is charged by the court as long as the defendant makes all scheduled court appearances and is in full compliance with court orders.

Common causes of bench warrants are failing to appear in any scheduled court date or failing to comply with a court order like attending and alcohol program, paying a fine, completing community service or showing progress on any term or condition of probation. Another common source of a bench warrant is having the defendant violate his probation by being arrested for a similar charge or other offense.