Bethesda Failure to Appear Lawyer
If you receive a notice from the Maryland judicial system to appear in court on a particular date or time for any reason, you are expected to make that appointment no matter what. If you fail to appear despite receiving such a notice, the court may issue a bench warrant against you that could lead to you being arrested and, if convicted, facing substantial criminal and administrative penalties.
It is possible in many situations to resolve situations like this amicably or at least reduce possible sanctions, but it generally requires acting proactively and having assistance from an experienced defense attorney. By hiring and working with a dedicated Bethesda failure to appear lawyer, you could give yourself the best chance of protecting your rights and avoiding long-term repercussions.
Criminal Consequences for Missing a Court Date
Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure §5-212 grants state courts the authority to issue a bench warrant against anyone who fails to make a scheduled court appearance in accordance with a citation for an alleged criminal offense. Notably, this statute does not apply to citations for certain types of parking tickets and traffic offenses, or—as noted below—to citations issued by law enforcement officers employed by the state Natural Resources Department.
A conviction under MD Code, CP §5-212 may result in misdemeanor-level sanctions of up to 90 days of jail time and/or a $500 fine, which may be assessed upon conviction for failure to appear, regardless of how the case which the defendant failed to appear for ultimately concludes. However, different penalties may apply to someone convicted of failing to appear for different types of court proceedings in Bethesda, as a qualified attorney could further explain.
For example, under Maryland Code, Courts & Judicial Proceedings §8-504, someone who fails to appear after being summoned for jury duty may be prosecuted for a misdemeanor offense and, upon conviction, sentenced to 60 days maximum in jail and $1,000 maximum in fines. Likewise, failure to appear after being cited by a Natural Resources officer may be fined an additional $100 on top of whatever fines come with their offense, as per Maryland Code, Natural Resources §1-205.
Contesting a Bethesda Failure to Appear Charge
The best way to address a bench warrant issued based on a failure to appear is to get in front of it and communicate to the court why the court date was missed as soon as possible. If someone misses a court date because they were never actually sent a notice to appear, because of a sudden family emergency or injury, because of incarceration on other charges, or some other unpredictable situation like a car breakdown, they may be able to convince the court not to pursue sanctions against them and to reschedule their court date.
Even outside of situations like this, being proactive about resolving a failure to appear warrant can go a long way towards mitigating the consequences this type of charge may have. A committed failure to appear lawyer in Bethesda could discuss specific options in detail during a confidential consultation.
Get in Touch with a Bethesda Failure to Appear Attorney Today
Failing to obey a court order under any circumstances can result in serious legal consequences, even if that failure is as simple as missing a court date. Fortunately, help is available from seasoned legal representatives who could help you handle your charge(s) effectively and efficiently.
A conversation with a Bethesda failure to appear lawyer could be a key first step to avoiding criminal repercussions for your missed court date. Call today for an initial meeting.