Stamford Failure to Appear Lawyer
If you have been charged with a failure to appear in Stamford, then you need the help of a top criminal defense attorney. A Stamford failure to appear lawyer can intervene to help avoid additional damage consequences.
How Does the State Treat a Missed Court Date?
The Connecticut penal code defines two different failure to appear crimes. One is a felony and the other is a misdemeanor. The severity of the failure to appear offense is linked to the crime connected with the court appearance.
When you fail to appear after being released on bail or in connection with probation violation, you can be charged with failure to appear. However, the failure to appear must be willful to violate the criminal statutes, so a Stamford failure to appear attorney can present evidence to show that a missed court appearance was unavoidable.
Is My Failure to Appear a Felony?
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-172 describes the situations that constitute a failure to appear as a felony offense. When you are charged with a felony and are released, willfully failing to appear “when legally called” according to the terms of a bail bond or promise to appear is a violation. Failing to appear for a court hearing relating to probation after a conviction of a felony also constitutes felony failure to appear.
Felony failure to appear is treated as a Class D felony. Anyone convicted may be sentenced to as much as five years in jail and required to pay a fine of up to $5,000.
Can My Missed Court Date Be a Misdemeanor?
Failure to appear as a misdemeanor is described in C.G.S. §53a-173. A person who is charged with the commission of a misdemeanor or a traffic violation punishable by imprisonment may be found guilty of failure to appear if they willfully refuse to come to court when legally called. Similarly, a person convicted of a misdemeanor and released on probation may be convicted of misdemeanor failure to appear if they miss a court hearing related to an alleged probation violation.
Misdemeanor failure to appear is a Class A misdemeanor, the most severe type of misdemeanor. Because failure to appear is treated so seriously, someone charged with a minor offense may find themselves facing much more serious charges just for missing a court date. Anyone convicted of a Class A misdemeanor can be sentenced to up to a year in jail and a fine as high as $2,000.
Work with an Experienced Stamford Failure to Appear Attorney
Very often, people think that a missing a court date is not a problem because they do not hear anything and police do not come to their door to make an arrest. However, the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest, and that warrant could remain in the system for years. Police may arrest you at the most embarrassing or inconvenient time possible.
It is preferable to have a Stamford failure to appear lawyer address the issue now and seek leniency from the court. The court is more likely to accept an excuse and treat the matter lightly if you come forward to admit the mistake rather than waiting until you are caught. For a consultation to learn more about how an attorney can help resolve your failure to appear scenario, call Mark Sherman Law now.