When a person is arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, they are
taken to the police station for booking and are held in custody until
they are either able to post the designated bail amount or they released
by a judge on their “own recognizance,” otherwise known as
an OR release. In exchange for their release, they must agree to show
up in court on a set date to face their charges. But what happens if a
defendant fails to appear?
You Could Face Additional Criminal Charges
In the event that a defendant should miss their scheduled court date, the
presiding judge will usually issue a
bench warrant for their arrest. With a bench warrant, a person may be arrested during
any encounter with a police officer, such as after a car accident or during
a traffic stop. If the defendant failed to appear in relation to a more
serious offense, the police will more actively try to search for the defendant
and secure their arrest.
If the defendant should still not appear within a certain period of time
or provide the courts with an acceptable reason for their absence, the
prosecutor may choose to file “Failure to Appear” charges
against the defendant. These charges will generally match the severity
of the original offense. For example, if a person were initially arrested
for a felony offense, failing to appear in court will result in another
felony charge and increase the penalties they face.
You Will Forfeit Your Bail
Under normal circumstances, when a defendant posts bail, the amount paid
will be returned to them minus any administrative fees as long as they
comply with the court’s orders and attend all court dates as instructed.
In other words, bail is a monetary promise that a person will show up
to court to face their charges. If this promise is broken, however, the
entire amount of the bond will be forfeited to the courts – a financial
blow which can easily reach six or seven figures depending on the offense.
If a bail bond agency was used to post bail, the bond agency will then
be responsible for the full amount unless they are able to locate and
surrender the defendant to the courts.
Facing Failure to Appear Charges? Dial (480) 418-0776
If you have been charged with failure to appear or any other criminal charge,
it is urgent you get in touch with a powerful criminal defense lawyer
immediately to minimize your chances of serving serious consequences.
At Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys, our Mesa criminal lawyers
can provide the aggressive advocacy you need to protect your future and freedom.
There is no time to waste –
contact us online today to review your defense options.