Accusations that you have failed to appear as ordered in court are serious matters. This can result in new criminal charges that come with severe consequences. In addition, a failure to appear can result in the forfeiture of bail and a requirement that you await trial in jail.
To avoid these penalties, consult a Hartford failure to appear lawyer at Ruane Attorneys. Our legal team will listen to your reasons for not appearing in court and work to convince the court not to impose any additional punishment. If criminal charges are already moving forward, we could provide dedicated representation throughout your case.
The Impact of a Missed Court Appearance on Your Case
Criminal and traffic courts in Hartford have broad powers to compel attendance. To this end, police who make an arrest will often keep a person in custody until the next available court date for an arraignment.
The arraignment will determine the terms a person must follow while their case moves forward. For some, this will mean a release on their own recognizance. This simply means that they make a promise to appear for future sessions. For others, the court will set bail terms that require a defendant to pay money or attach property to their promise to appear in the future. In both examples, failing to appear as scheduled could see a judge rescind bail terms, order the forfeiture of bail property, and issue an arrest warrant. Talking with a Hartford attorney could help people determine their current bail status and evaluate the possible consequences of a failure to appear.
A Failure to Appear is a Separate Criminal Offense in Hartford
There are certainly consequences for failing to appear for a current criminal case. However, state law also authorizes prosecutors to file new criminal charges related to a defendant’s failure to appear. The severity of these charges will depend upon the nature of the original case.
Connecticut General Statute § 53a-173 deals with situations where a defendant did not appear for a misdemeanor or traffic case. Convictions here are class 1 misdemeanors and can result in up to one year in jail or a fine of $2,000. On the other hand, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-172 deals with situations involving an alleged failure to appear for a felony case. Here, a conviction is a new class D felony with a possible prison term between one and five years.
The Hartford lawyers at Ruane Attorneys could help fight back against allegations of a missed court appearance. This could include gathering evidence of personal emergencies or conflicting court dates that convince a judge to rescind an arrest warrant or a prosecutor to drop new charges.
Speak with a Hartford Failure to Appear Attorney for Help
Not appearing on your date for criminal court can come with severe penalties. For your current case, this could result in the forfeiture of bail and the issuance of an arrest warrant. In addition, failing to appear as scheduled is a new criminal charge where convictions can add new penalties to the ones you already face.
If you believe that you have missed your court date or police have made an arrest related to a failure to appear, reach out to Ruane Attorneys now. A Hartford failure to appear lawyer can work to arrange a time to appear in court and present information to protect your best interests. Contact us now to begin discussing your case.