You will be expected to appear in court at a certain time and date after being charged with a criminal violation. If the offense isn’t a traffic infraction, more than one hearing is generally necessary and none of them are elective. If you are not present at your hearing, you may face worse penalties. Here’s what you can do if you’ve neglected your court appearance.
Your Sentencing May Become Harsher
You may be charged with a new criminal offense for failing to appear if you do not appear before the judge at the scheduled time of your hearing. This is usually handled as a misdemeanor, but it might be increased to a felony if the original allegations against you were violent or serious. If you are successfully prosecuted, the penalty for failing to appear will be added to the sentence for the initial violation.
You Should Inform the Court of Extenuating Circumstances, If Applicable
Life can be unpredictable and despite your best efforts, you may have missed your court date due to circumstances beyond your control. You may be excused from additional penalties for missing your court date if:
- A close family member died or was seriously ill. You can show evidence that you were attending a family member’s funeral or caring for someone in your family who had fallen ill at the time of your scheduled hearing by producing documents like medical records or a formal death certificate.
- There’s no record you received a formal notice of your requirement to appear. If the state cannot show that you were served with your notice by a process server or sent the notice via certified mail, they may not be able to prove that you actually received the notice. If they cannot legally establish that you did, you may not be held liable for missing your court date.
Get Legal Help From an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, it’s critical that you obtain experienced legal counsel in Connecticut right away. This becomes even more important if you’ve missed your initial court date and are now being charged with failure to appear.
Attorney J. Christopher Llinas has the experience needed to aggressively defend you in Hartford court of law and is prepared to do so regardless of the crime you were charged with. Call now for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at 860-530-1781.