Even if it was an honest mistake, failing to appear in court for a formal summons is a serious matter in Connecticut. Failure to appear is a distinct criminal offense that could lead to a state court issuing a warrant for your arrest. The repercussions associated with this crime can sometimes be worse than those associated with the original offense, which you would still face prosecution for in addition to the new failure to appear charges.
Fortunately, there are often ways to amicably resolve these types of situations with help from an East Windsor failure to appear lawyer. It is crucial to act quickly and communicate clearly with the court when facing charges of this nature, so contacting an attorney should be a priority as soon as you become aware of your missed court date.
Degrees of Failure to Appear Offenses
Court authorities in Connecticut may pursue failure to appear charges under one of two statutes, depending on the severity of the underlying offense for which a defendant failed to appear in court.
Missed Court Dates for Misdemeanors
If the offense was a misdemeanor or motor vehicle violation punishable by a jail sentence of any length, an ensuing failure to appear would be considered a class A misdemeanor. This second-degree offense under Connecticut General Statutes §53a-173 is punishable by 12 months of imprisonment plus a $2,000 fine, in addition to any sanctions associated with the underlying offense. Individuals who willfully fail to appear for hearings related to an alleged probation violation following a misdemeanor or motor vehicle conviction may also face charges under this statute.
Failure to Appear on Felony Charges
First-degree failure to appear as defined under C.G.S. §53a-172 entails willfully missing a court date while out on bail or otherwise lawfully released following a felony arrest, or failing to appear when summoned over an alleged probation violation following conviction for such an offense. This is a class D felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum five-year prison term and up to $5,000 in fines. An East Windsor attorney could explain these and other potential sanctions for failing to appear in court during a confidential initial meeting.
Defenses for Failing to Appear in Court in East Windsor
Anyone facing failure to appear charges should contact nearby legal counsel and immediately file a motion to vacate any re-arrest order issued by the court. If the defendant had a valid and good-faith reason for missing their court date, such as an emergency medical problem or an auto accident, the court may agree to vacate the order and reschedule the missed hearing without further issue.
Additionally, individuals without any criminal record may be eligible for participation in Connecticut’s accelerated rehabilitation program, the successful completion of which may allow for all failure to appear charges to be dismissed. A failure to appear lawyer at Ruane Attorneys could help a defendant determine whether applying for this program is in their best interests.
Seek Help from an East Windsor Failure to Appear Attorney
Missing a scheduled appearance in court over a criminal charge could result in you being arrested again and potentially detained until your trial without any chance of being granted release or bail. Accordingly, it is vital to address these situations as soon as possible afterwards to minimize the risk of long-term repercussions.
An East Windsor failure to appear lawyer could be a valuable ally at every stage of the criminal process. Call Ruane Attorneys today to schedule a meeting.