If you have ever charged with a crime, after being released from custody, a court date will be set and you are required to appear in court that day.
What happens if you fail to appear in court?
If without any reason, you do not appear at the decided court date, there are chances that you get charged with “Failure to Appear.” This charge comes under California Penal Code 1320 & 1320.5. In this case, the judge can release a bench warrant against you. The police will come straight away to your place to arrest and present you in front of a court.
“Failure to Appear” is treated as wrongdoing. Also, it is based on what you charged with. Mainly the penalties for failure to appear in court in Calif include a 6-month county jail along with a fine of $1,000 in case of a misdemeanor.
However, in case of a felony, the penalty can be imprisonment of 3 years, along with a fine up to $10,000.
Penalties and Jail Time for ‘Failure to Appear’
Some of the possible penalties for FTA are:
- if there are charges of a misdemeanor on your record and you are released on your realization, you could then face:
- Misdemeanor probation, which can be up to 6 months along with a fine up to $1,000 depending on your charges.
- If there are felony charges on you and you were released on your realization, penalties will be more including:
- Felony probation that can begin from one year in county jail up to 3 years in state imprisonment.
- A fine can also be charged up to $5,000
- If you have felony charges requiring bail for release, then you can receive strict punishments including:
- Felony Probation, which can last up to three years in state prison
- The amount of fine can also rise, and it can be up to $10,000
Moreover, if you post the bail, you will not get your money back.
Defenses for ‘FTA’ Charges
As it is already discussed above that, not appearing Court due to your own will and intent are the main elements of FTA law in California.
However, if you were genuinely not aware of the court date on there are some other important reasons for not attending court, you will not be charged anything. You need to prove that you have acted responsibly and put all your efforts to visit the court. Also, you haven’t missed your court date willfully.
Furthermore, if you were released on your realization without assigning any agreement to return court, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. He will research your case correctly and look for a speedy dismissal for you. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is always advisable in such cases because they know how to react and act in such critical situations. Look for a skilled and highly experienced criminal defense lawyer in such critical cases.