Can You Avoid Penalties for Failure to Appear Charges in California?

You can be charged with the crime of failure to appear in court if you fail to appear in court when you are summoned. If you signed a written note that you will attend a court hearing in California, if you were subpoenaed to appear before the court, or if a judge ordered you to come back to court, and you do not show up, you can face severe punishment. Depending on your situation, you could face misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. 

Not every defendant who misses a court date does so on purpose and because they were negligent or irresponsible. There are situations in which a defendant misses a hearing through no fault of their own. If you unintentionally missed your court date, you need effective and proficient legal representation arguing your position to the judge. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who can do just that.

When is it OK Not to Appear in Court?

As a rule, there is never a time that it is acceptable not to appear in court. This is why if you have a court date, you work hard to make sure you get there. Though, there are times when it is impossible to make it to your court date. In this situation, you could potentially be relieved of criminal consequences.

Failure to appear in court is a crime in the state of California that is punishable by jail time and expensive fines. This is true when failing to appear is willful, meaning that a person specifically did not try to make it to a court or directly attempted to miss their scheduled date.

In situations in which a defendant tried to make it to court, did not willfully miss their court date, but experienced something that prevented them from being able to make their court date, they can avoid criminal penalties. Emergency situations are an example. Let’s say that on the way to court you were involved in a serious car accident and were injured. This would be an unexpected occurrence that would make it difficult for anyone to continue with their day as planned.

Speak to a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Navigating California’s criminal justice system is not easy and not everyone who is arrested is trying to beat the system or not follow the rules. Innocent mistakes can happen and if they do, a person who unknowingly or unintentionally finds themselves in this situation should seek legal guidance for assistance redressing the problem. 

For information on how to overcome failure to appear charges in California and more, the California criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of David M. Boertje can meet with you during a free consultation. Do not delay, call attorney David M. Boertje today at (619) 229-1870 for the San Diego office or (760) 476-0901 for the Carlsbad location.

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