Westport Failure to Appear Lawyer
While it is best to address a missed court date as soon as possible, an arrest warrant for failure to appear never expires, so a top criminal defense lawyer can assist in solving the problem regardless of how long ago the violation occurred.
What If I Missed Court Accidentally?
Under both the felony and misdemeanor sections of the failure to appear statute, the language requires someone to miss court willfully in order for the act to constitute a violation. A failure to appear lawyer in Westport can work to show why an absence from court was not willful.
For example, an attorney can present evidence to show that you were unable to attend court due to illness. Any tangible proof of why you missed court is helpful, and with the help of an attorney, a prompt explanation and apology to the court can go a long way.
Is Missing My Court Date a Felony or Misdemeanor?
Failure to appear in court when required may be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. Generally, when the offense connected with the court appearance was a felony, failure to appear is treated as a felony. When the offense that required an appearance in court was a misdemeanor, failure to appear is usually treated as a misdemeanor.
Felony failure to appear is defined in greater detail in Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-172 and the definition of misdemeanor failure to appear is in C.G.S. §53a-173. You can be found guilty if you were charged with a crime, released and failed to appear when legally called. You can also be found guilty of failure to appear if you were convicted of a crime, released on probation, and failed to attend a court hearing related to a probation violation.
What Are the Penalties for Failure to Appear?
Felony failure to appear is a Class D felony. If you are convicted, you may be sentenced to as much as five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.
Misdemeanor failure to appear is a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum penalties include up to one year in jail and fine as high as $2,000. A Westport failure to appear attorney can seek alternative penalties if it is not possible to convince the court to forego punishment altogether.
Consult a Westport Failure to Appear Attorney
Penalties for failure to appear are added onto any penalties connected with the underlying crime. In some cases, the failure to appear penalties may exceed any of those involved with the original criminal act.
An arrest warrant for failure to appear may remain in the system dormant for years, but that does not mean the offense is no longer a concern. If you failed to appear in court as ordered, you may face arrest at any time.
A Westport failure to appear lawyer can work to resolve the problem so that you no longer have to worry about having a warrant hanging over your head. To learn more about the advantages a defense lawyer could provide in your situation, call Mark Sherman Law for a confidential consultation.