If you miss a court hearing which you were ordered to attend as a defendant,
the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. A bench warrant directs
law enforcement to take a person into custody and bring that individual
before the court to address the reason the warrant was issued. If you
are picked up, you could be held in jail until the court has a hearing
on your case – unless you post a high bond or pay court fees.
Consequences of Missing a Court Appearance
Depending on the charges, you might be required to appear in court several
times throughout a criminal case – for an arraignment, pre-trial
conference, hearing, trial, sentencing, etc. If you fail to appear as
ordered, you have violated the court order and the judge can charge you
with the crime of failure to appear or contempt of court.
In connection with a felony charge, or while awaiting sentence or pending
appeal after conviction for an offense, failure to appear is a felony
punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years and a maximum fine
of $5,000. In connection with a misdemeanor charge, failure to appear
is a misdemeanor punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year or a
maximum fine provided for the misdemeanor.
Consult with a Lawyer Today
If you know you missed a court appearance or discover a court has issued
a warrant against you, consult with a lawyer immediately. Our Anchorage
criminal defense attorneys at
Denali Law Group understands the alternatives available to you, so you can avoid going
to jail for failing to appear in court.
Contact us and schedule a
free consultation today.