Darien Failure to Appear Lawyer
A top criminal defense attorney can help you appeal to the courts that your missed court appearance was valid and not willful. A Darien failure to appear lawyer can give you the best chance to avoid a conviction for failure to appear.
What Should I Understand About a Failure to Appear Charge?
Missed court dates are a common occurrence, but this does not mean that they cannot lead to severe consequences. One challenge in a failure to appear case is that a judge has likely heard every excuse in the book. That said, some missed court dates are unavoidable.
There are two types of failure to appear charges under state law. First-degree failure to appear is a Class D felony governed by Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-172. Second-degree failure to appear is a Class A misdemeanor governed by C.G.S. § 53a-173. Each of these crimes shares an important element: a missed court date must occur willfully to qualify under either statute.
What If I Did Not Mean to Miss Court?
This is an important distinction. Accidentally missing a court date means that a conviction is not guaranteed. It also allows for the potential of an acquittal if you or a Darien failure to appear attorney can establish that the missed court date was unintentional. Some valid excuses for missing court could include:
- Severe illness or injury
- Lack of transportation
- Living out of state
- Family emergency
A Darien missed court date lawyer can help you intervene early to mitigate the missed appearance and reduce your chances of conviction.
What Are the Penalties for a Failure to Appear Conviction?
The penalties following a failure to appear conviction vary depending on the specific charge. As a felony, first-degree failure to appear carries much steeper penalties. This charge is reserved for a person that misses a court date while on probation or facing trial on a felony charge. A conviction can result in between one and five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
A conviction for second-degree failure to appear can also have serious consequences. At the upper end of the sentencing range, you can face up to a year behind bars. A conviction can also result in a fine of no more than $2,000.
Reach Out to a Darien Failure to Appear Attorney
The sooner you deal with your failure to appear, the better your chances of avoiding consequences. To discuss your options, contact Mark Sherman Law for a Darien failure to appear lawyer immediately.