What Happens If You Fail To Appear In Court
What happens if you fail to appear in court after you’ve been charged with a crime and posted bail? Will you immediately be sent back to jail or is it possible that the judge will just let everything slide?
Well, we can say one thing for sure — the judge will not simply forget about everything and drop the charges.
Here’s what you can expect to happen with a failure to appear in court.
Failure to appear in court penalties
- Fine: up to $1,000 fine (if original crime a misdemeanor), up to $10,000 (if original crime a felony)
- Jail time: up to 6 months in jail (if original crime a misdemeanor), up to 3 years (if original crime a felony)
- Charge: misdemeanor or felony based on original charge
To make matters significantly worse, you will likely be forced to forfeit your bail money if you skipped your court date (even if you are eventually found innocent of the original crime).
To be charged with a failure to appear in court, it has to be proven that you were notified of the court date, that you intentionally failed to appear, and that you had no viable excuse for not attending. All in all, none of this is very difficult to prove.
How to avoid a failure to appear in court charge
The only real way to avoid a failure to appear in court charge is to… show up to court. While there are ways to fight this charge in court, it requires a skilled lawyer and a good amount of luck. Your best bet is to avoid this charge altogether and don’t attempt to delay court proceedings.