Cecil County Failure to Appear Lawyer
Missing a court date may lead to serious problems, but often the situation can be resolved with a positive outcome if addressed promptly and correctly. A Cecil County failure to appear lawyer could provide advice on how to proceed based on the circumstances that caused you to miss a court appearance.
A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney could also advocate on your behalf to help minimize the consequences. Delays may cause potential penalties to increase and could cause the court to adopt a less sympathetic stance toward your case. It could be wise to contact an attorney for help as soon as you realize you have failed to appear in court in Cecil County.
Failure to Appear is a Criminal Offense
When individuals are ordered to appear in court for an allegedly committing a criminal offense, they may not realize they have committed a separate crime if they fail to show up for court. This could leave them with two offenses to worry about. Since people fail to appear for a legitimate reason, it could be possible to have the offense excused or minimalized if prompt action is taken by contacting a failure to appear attorney in Cecil County.
Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure §5-212 specifies that missing a court date in response to a citation is a potential misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 90 days of imprisonment or a fine of up to $500 or both. If the citation is issued by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the amount of the fine could be reduced to $100. The section could allow the judge to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of anyone who fails to appear in response to a citation.
Those who miss court duty may also need to be concerned with failure to appear violations since missing jury duty could also lead to jail time and a heavy fine. Under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. §8-504, failing to appear for jury duty without good cause is an offense punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine as high as $1,000.
The Consequences of a Bench Warrant
A bench warrant is an arrest warrant issued by a judge from the bench. While police may not take affirmative steps to locate the person named in response to a bench warrant, the warrant will typically appear in the system throughout Cecil County and the rest of the state and also in other states.
The warrant gives police the power to arrest the named individual at any time in any place. If someone is stopped for a broken turn signal or a DUI and the police run a search, they could arrest the driver and take the driver to the jurisdiction where the judge issued the warrant.
Bench Warrants Should not be Ignored
While people in Cecil County could be tempted to ignore a bench warrant and hope it will go away, that strategy is the exact opposite of the course of action which may be best calculated to lead to a positive result. It could be far better to address the situation quickly, explain the reason for the absence, and ask for leniency.
The credibility of an excuse is stronger when provided shortly after the offense rather than some time later. While the reason for missing court may not be good, the court might be more likely to forgive the offense when the someone promptly confesses to the error rather than waits to be caught. A Cecil County attorney could help a person explain their failure to appear and ask for leniency.
How a Cecil County Failure to Appear Attorney Could Help
A failure to appear lawyer could file a motion to recall the warrant and persuade the judge to quash the warrant. If the motion succeeds, the judge will remove the warrant and set a new court date.
If you are uncertain whether a bench warrant has been issued against you, a Cecil County failure to appear lawyer could also investigate, evaluate the situation, and provide advice on the best course of action. For a consultation to discuss your situation, call now.