Failing to show up for a court date can lead many individuals to believe that their situation is bleak. A prevailing thought might be to just admit guilt and try to move past it. However, it's essential to understand that you're entitled to defend your actions, including when charged with missing a court appearance. Let's delve into the complexities of this situation and discuss possible defenses. Reach out to Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for an in-depth legal consultation.
What the Court Needs to Establish
To convict someone for not attending a scheduled court date, the court must validate four crucial points without any doubt. First, they must confirm that you were indeed facing a criminal charge, either a misdemeanor or felony. Secondly, they should establish that after an arrest, you were let go on your own recognizance. Thirdly, it must be clear that your absence from court was deliberate. Lastly, they need to prove that your primary reason for missing the court date was to intentionally avoid legal procedures.
The Assumption of Willful Absence
Interestingly, if you don’t show up for your court date, the court automatically assumes your absence was intentional. This absence can be perceived as having no intention of abiding by the law. Legally, if you miss your court appearance and do not get in touch with the court within two weeks from your scheduled date, it's presumed that you intended to bypass the court's proceedings.
Potential Charges for Missing Court
The nature of your initial charge plays a significant role in determining the penalty for not attending court. If you were previously released without a bond on a misdemeanor charge and then missed your court date, you'd face an additional misdemeanor charge. On the other hand, if you were released after posting bail for a felony and then did not show up, you'd be looking at a felony charge for not appearing. Notably, missing a court date for a traffic ticket is treated as a misdemeanor.
Defending Your Absence in Court
The good news is that defenses exist for those who don’t make their court appearance. A common defense is proving that your absence wasn't deliberate, but rather due to valid reasons. For instance, if you genuinely forgot but contacted the court as soon as you remembered, this might act in your favor. There are also other valid excuses such as facing an illness, suffering an injury, or attending to an emergency. Verifiable evidence supporting these reasons could potentially pardon your absence.
However, it's paramount to note that every situation is unique. Such cases can be intricate, and the expertise of a seasoned criminal defense attorney is invaluable. Should you find yourself in this position, consider reaching out to Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 to schedule a complimentary legal consultation. Your right to defend yourself remains intact, even if you've missed a court appearance.