If you’re facing criminal charges, you’ll be compelled to appear in court at a set time to have your case heard by a judge and depending on the crime, possibly a jury of your peers. Multiple court appearances are usually required for crimes that aren’t traffic violations, all of which you must be at.
If you don’t show up, your circumstances may become more problematic. Here’s everything you need to know about getting legal help for failing to appear in court.
You May Face Additional Criminal Charges For Missing Your Court Date
If you miss your criminal trial, you may be charged with another, additional offense. While this is typically a misdemeanor, it could be a felony of the original charges you were due to appear for were also felonies. This can have extreme, life changing consequences if you are convicted.
In certain circumstances, you may not have been able to attend your criminal hearing regardless of when it was scheduled. Extenuating conditions may include the following:
Family Death or Illness
If a member of your immediate family becomes extremely ill and requires your assistance, or if someone in your family dies, you may be absolved of failure to appear and be issued a new court date. However, you’ll typically need to be able to back up your claims with evidence, such as medical documents or a death certificate dated around the time of your court hearing.
You Did Not Receive Notice to Appear
The state is responsible for correctly serving you with a legal notice telling you of the offense you have been charged with, when your hearing is scheduled, and which courthouse you must go to. It’s possible that you won’t be held liable for missing your court date if you never received the notice. If you claim you didn’t get served, the state must be able to demonstrate a paper trail or show that you reasonably should have received or seen the notice.
What a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Do
An experienced New Haven criminal defense attorney can help you defend against additional charges for missing your court appearance, as well as forming a compelling defense against the original crimes you are accused of committing. Rachel Mirsky is a seasoned lawyer who isn’t afraid to aggressively go to bat for you when necessary.
Call today to book your initial appointment to discuss your case at (203) 290-2779.