Every person who receives a summons to appear before a criminal court must make every reasonable effort to do so. This means that barring a major emergency, courts expect that an individual will appear when required. The requirement to appear applies equally to both people facing criminal charges and those with other business before the court. Under state law, failing to appear before a criminal court when summoned is a crime.
A Manhattan failure to appear lawyer could be able to help you if your missed court date has resulted in legal trouble. An attorney could help people facing separate similar charges to argue that their bail should remain in place and that additional criminal charges are unnecessary. They could also work with witnesses and other parties to fight back against the filing of charges related to contempt of court.
What Failing to Appear Means
Criminal courts operate upon the assumption that individuals will appear at a specific date and time. In fact, the court’s schedule revolves around this premise.
For many people, appearing at the proper time is essential to an ongoing criminal case. These are people who are out on bail or personal recognizance while awaiting the conclusion of their case. For others, they have a specific date set in court to appear as a witness, present an argument concerning a restraining order, or challenge a traffic ticket. A Manhattan failure to appear attorney could provide more information about what it means to not appear when required and perform an investigation concerning whether a party had proper notice concerning their obligation to appear before the court.
Possible Consequences of Failing to Appear
Failing to appear when required by a criminal court in Manhattan is always a serious matter. The exact severity of this offense depends upon the party’s reason for being in court.
When Defendants Miss a Court Date
The harshest penalties apply to those who are already defendants in criminal cases. According to Kansas Statute § 21-5915, failing to appear when required is a separate criminal offense. In all cases, a person released on bail or personal recognizance who does not surrender themselves within 30 days of failing to appear can expect the filing of new charges and the surrender of their bail or bond.
A final conviction in these cases can result in the imposition of severe penalties. When the core case is a misdemeanor, the new charge is an additional class B nonperson misdemeanor. If the core case is a felony, the court can impose penalties consistent with a new level 10, nonperson felony.
When Other Parties Miss a Court Date
For people who are not defendants in a criminal case, the court may pursue charges of contempt. A contempt charge alleges that a person acted in a way that intends to frustrate the court’s proceedings or order. Failing to appear can fall under this definition. A Manhattan failure to appear lawyer may be able to help mount effective defenses against allegations of nonappearance.
Reach Out to a Manhattan Failure to Appear Attorney Immediately
If you have recently learned that you have missed a court date or required appearance, it is essential that you act quickly to protect yourself. Waiting more than 30 days could see the filing of new criminal charges against you, and an unexcused absence while out on bail could force you to await trial on your original case in jail.
A Manhattan failure to appear lawyer could help to present evidence that excuses your absence and works to prevent the filing of new charges. This could also help to convince a court to reinstate bail and keep you at home while resolving your prior case. Call today to discuss your options with a skilled legal professional.