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Maryland Failure to Appear Laws

If you have failed to appear for a court date, the court may have issued a bench warrant. Or, in other cases, the court may charge you with failure to appear. If this happens to you, please contact a Maryland failure to appear lawyer so you can ask any questions you may have and discuss your options. Below is a brief review of some of the “failure to appear” charges in Maryland. For more information on how a Maryland failure to appear attorney can help.

Failure to Appear for Jury Service Section 8-504

It is illegal for a person to fail to appear for jury service when that person has been summoned for jury service. Section 8-504(a). If a person does fail to appear, then that person may be issued a court order to appear and show cause for the violation. Section 8-504(b).

If a person violates this section and is unable to show good cause for not appearing, then that person faces up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 or less. Section 8-504(c).

Failure to Appear in Response to Citation Section 5-212

This section applies to individuals who have been granted pretrial release either through bail or upon the person’s own recognizance. If such a person then fails to appear in response to a citation (which in itself is a violation of the person’s agreement with the court to appear that is necessary for pretrial release), then that person faces several penalties. Section 5-212.

First, the court may issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Section 5-212(b).

Second, the person will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $500. Section 5-212.

This section does not apply to citations for violating parking ordinances, for traffic offenses, or for citations issued by Natural Resources police officers. Section 5-212(a).

Failure to Appear Following Citation from Natural Resources Officer Section 1-205

This section applies to individuals who have been charged with an offense by a Natural Resources police officer. If a person is charged with committing a misdemeanor by a Natural Resources police officer, the officer has the choice to issue a citation where the person promises to appear in court rather than taking the person into custody. Section 1-205(b).

If a person then fails to appear as ordered by the citation, and the person has not (1) posted sufficient collateral, (2) paid the fine in advance of the trial (not always an available option), or (3) had counsel represent the person in court, then that person is in violation of this section. Section 1-205(c).

If a person violates this section by failing to appear as described above, then the court may issue a warrant for the person’s arrest and fine the person $100 in addition to the fines for the original offense. Section 1-205(d).

How a Failure to Appear Lawyer in Maryland Can Help

Failure to Appear is not necessarily a serious charge, but it does carry fines and potential jail time. Furthermore, in some cases it can impact other aspects of your life if it becomes part of your criminal record. Please contact a Maryland failure to appear lawyer if you have missed an important court date and you believe that you have been charged with failure to appear or you believe there may be a bench warrant issued for your arrest.