Consequences of Failing to Appear

When it comes to the criminal process in Orange County and throughout the rest of California, criminal defendants must attend a series of court hearings. If a defendant is scheduled to appear for an arraignment or a sentencing hearing, or for any other criminal court hearing, he or she is expected to show up.

When a defendant fails to show for any reason, he or she is not only disrespecting the court, but they are wasting the judge’s time, their defense attorney’s time, and they are causing extra work for the court staff. So, in an effort to ensure that defendants always show up for their court appearances, the state imposes penalties for those who “fail to appear” in court.

What Happens if I Don’t Appear in Court?

Suppose you had a scheduled court appearance, but something happened and you didn’t show up at the scheduled date and time. Perhaps you decided not to go because you were afraid of being arrested. Perhaps you couldn’t get a ride and public transportation would make you hours late. Or, perhaps your boss wouldn’t let you off work. It doesn’t matter why you didn’t make it to court – you are supposed to show up no matter what.

If you fail to appear in court, this is what could happen:

  • The judge issues a bench warrant for your arrest.
  • If you are on probation, it may be revoked.
  • You may be charged with “failure to appear” and face fines and sentencing in addition to your original criminal charge.
  • If you were released on bail or bond, it may be forfeited.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles may place a hold on your driver’s license.

Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

In any criminal case, including a failure to appear, where you could be facing incarceration, you have a right to a criminal defense lawyer. Failure to appear charges can result in serious consequences and cannot be taken lightly. If you failed to appear for a scheduled court appearance, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to meet with an Orange County criminal defense attorney for free!

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