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Westport Failure to Appear Lawyer

A Westport failure to appear lawyer could advocate on your behalf to help minimize any adverse consequences. While prompt action often offers the best chance of a painless resolution, intervention by a top-rated criminal defense lawyer can prove valuable any time after you miss a required court appearance.

Is a Failure to Appear a Misdemeanor or Felony?

Failure to appear at a required hearing or court proceeding can be treated as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the nature of your underlying case.

If the underlying offense is a motor vehicle violation punishable by incarceration or a misdemeanor crime, then missing a court appearance is treated as failure to appear in the second degree under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-173.

If the underlying offense is a felony, missing a court date is failure to appear in the first degree under C.G.S. § 53a-172.

What Are the Penalties for Failure to Appear?

A conviction for second-degree failure to appear is punished as a Class A misdemeanor and carries the potential for up to one year in jail and a fine as high as $2,000. To be convicted you would either have to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial or plead guilty of your own volition.

A conviction for first-degree failure to appear is a more serious Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

In addition to the court-sanctioned penalties, a conviction for any crime carries with it consequences that long outlive the criminal case. A criminal record is public information and can impact your ability to get a job, housing, or funding for school. A failure to appear lawyer in Westport could advocate for the least possible penalties or present mitigating factors to seek additional leniency from the court.

How Can a Bail Commissioner’s Letter Affect Me?

In some cases, when you miss a court date, the court issues a Bail Commissioner’s Letter. This letter informs the individual of the next court date and acts as a warning that you may face criminal charges if you miss court again.

However, courts do not always issue a Bail Commissioner’s Letter. Sometimes the judge issues an arrest warrant instead. The safest course of action to take after missing a court date is to consult a failure to appear attorney in Westport who can review the circumstances and determine whether it is necessary to intervene with the court. Taking steps to acknowledge a missed court date establishes goodwill that can go a long way toward reaching a positive outcome in the case.

Talk to a Westport Failure to Appear Attorney

Sometimes, people in Westport assume that if they hear nothing about a missed court date, there is no problem. The reality is that if the court issues a warrant for your arrest you might not know about it for years. The warrant remains in the system and if you get pulled over sometime down the road, or have a run in with the cops, it could show up and lead to your immediate arrest. A Westport failure to appear lawyer could intervene, explain the reason for the missed court appearance, and advocate for leniency.

Taking a proactive approach can prevent costly and embarrassing problems in the future. If you have already been arrested for failure to appear, timely legal assistance is even more critical to help avoid further negative consequences. For a confidential consultation to learn how Mark Sherman Law can assist in your case, call now.