Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
Failing to appear for a mandatory court proceeding in a criminal case, such as for a preliminary hearing or arraignment, could result in the issuance of a bench warrant for your arrest. In addition to possibly being arrested and forfeiting any bond you might have paid, you could also face additional criminal charges.
A Fredericksburg failure to appear lawyer could work to help you resolve the situation effectively and efficiently. With a defense attorney’s help, it might be possible to either file a motion to have the bench warrant withdrawn or fight to have the associated criminal charge dismissed when you appear for your next scheduled court date.
A person could be required to appear in court for a variety of reasons, such as in response to a traffic ticket or a jury summons. In criminal cases, individuals are expected to appear in court for the following proceedings:
A Fredericksburg failure to appear attorney could provide more details about other proceedings for which a person is required to appear in court. In some instances, an attorney might also be able to appear in court on behalf of a client or defendant if that individual is unable to appear as scheduled.
Individuals who post bond as a promise to return to court for future scheduled hearings risk forfeiting that bond if they fail to appear in court. Other penalties for failing to appear could include incarceration and a fine.
The length of imprisonment and the amount of the fine can depend on whether the underlying charge associated with the original offense is a misdemeanor or felony. A qualified Fredericksburg lawyer could analyze a defendant’s circumstances to determine the extent of the penalties they may face following a failure to appear.
Virginia Code §19.2-128 indicates that a person charged with a misdemeanor offense who willfully fails to appear in court for proceedings pertaining to that offense has committed a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalties for committing a Class 1 misdemeanor include up to 12 months confinement in jail, a fine up to $2,500, or both.
A person charged with a felony offense who willfully fails to appear in court for proceedings pertaining to that offense commits a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony is punishable by confinement in prison for one to five years and a fine up to $2,500.
Depending on the circumstances that contributed to you missing court, there could be justification for filing a motion to withdraw the warrant. Even if the bench warrant is not withdrawn, an attorney could fight to have the failure to appear charge dismissed during your next court proceeding.
Missing a mandatory court proceeding is not a matter to be taken lightly. A bench warrant could be issued for your arrest, and you could face misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. Contact a Fredericksburg failure to appear lawyer right away if you missed a court date.