Articles Tagged with failure to appear

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. Continue reading

Last year, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch went on record as in a speech at the White House, actively opposing judges imposing traffic fines, calling such “the criminalization of poverty.” She cited the case study of Ferguson, in which citizens who have attempted to pay the ever-increasing fines of their traffic tickets and were subsequently arrested for not being able to come up with the money associated with late fees.

Fines Increase With Time

If you have received a parking or traffic ticket, you can bet that the fine will increase if it is not paid within the time specified on the ticket (usually 30 days). State and local governments fundraise through driving and parking tickets and they have no incentive to keep the prices down in the interests of fairness.

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