Failing to appear in court for any reason can lead to severe consequences. Even though you may have a valid reason for missing your court appearance, including oversight or scheduling conflicts, you may still be held accountable for not showing up.
Unfortunately, these issues will not get resolved on their own. Reaching out to a hard-working Islip failure to appear lawyer like Mike Schillinger is critical to preserving your legal rights. As a blue-collar guy, Mike has a long history of fighting for working-class clients, and knows what’s at stake when someone in your shoes has been charged with a crime. He has helped defend his clients against charges similar to yours and will fight hard to help you resolve your case with the best potential outcome.
The Legal Consequences of a Bench Warrant
Failing to appear in court can quickly put individuals on the wrong side of the law. When a bench warrant is involved, even minor legal issues can become severe, leading to significant penalties. For example, if you fail to appear in court, the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest and you may even find yourself facing bail jumping charges.
Once a warrant is issued, any run-in with the police, even a simple traffic stop, can result in an arrest if the officer runs your name and discovers the outstanding bench warrant. An additional criminal charge for failing to appear often leads to more severe consequences than the original charge. However, a skilled attorney in Islip can investigate the underlying warrant and answer questions you may have to help you determine the best way to proceed with your case.
Penalties for a Bench Warrant or Bail Jumping
According to New York Penal Code §§ 215.55 – § 215.57 anyone who fails to appear in court after having been released on their own recognizance or bail can face additional criminal charges for bail jumping. These charges range from a class “A” misdemeanor to a class “D” felony depending upon the underlying charges. A conviction on any bail jumping offense could mean steep fines, jail time, and a criminal conviction on your record. Additionally, if you are ever arrested again in the future, a bail jumping conviction will give the Judge on the new case a reason to consider setting higher bail.
Summons or Ticket Requiring a Court Appearance
Many citations a resident in this state may receive do not require an appearance in court. However, failing to show up when the ticket requires that you be present, can lead to the court issuing a bench warrant.
According to New York Penal Law § 215.58, the court will issue a failure to appear when an individual misses a court date for a summons or traffic ticket. With that being said, even though the ticket lists a date for you to appear on, there is a thirty (30) day grace period for you to return voluntarily if you miss your initial court date.
Potential Failure to Appear Defenses
Missing a court date for circumstances outside of your control could cause the court to dismiss the bench warrant and reschedule your appearance. Likewise, courts may drop failure to appear charges if someone returns to court during the 30-day grace period allowable under state law. However, District Attorneys will likely charge people with bail jumping if they do not have a valid reason for missing court. Mike Schillinger is a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Islip and can advise individuals on what constitutes a valid reason for failing to appear.
Call an Experienced Failure to Appear Attorney in Islip
If you have an outstanding bench warrant for your arrest, immediately handling the matter is vital to protecting your freedom. Unfortunately, even a simple traffic stop could mean spending time in jail for a failure to appear.
Mike Schillinger will fight for you to help resolve the matter as quickly as possible. If you need help preparing a solid defense, schedule a meeting with an Islip failure to appear lawyer today.