Although missing a court date is a common occurrence, it can lead to additional criminal charges. If you missed a court appearance in an Arizona court and are facing a failure to appear charge, our attorneys can often fix the situation before it gets out of hand. And that means, you need to deal with this right away. For failing to appear in court, the judge has most likely issued a warrant for your arrest. An outstanding warrant is a serious matter. Though the police probably aren’t charging around town looking for you, the simple fact is that if you are stopped for any reason, you will be arrested and jailed indefinitely.
I Made A Mistake And Didn’t Think Failure to Appear was So Serious
That happens, and there are many possibly explanations about why you failed to appear for your court date. You may have been out of town, or had a family emergency come up. It’s also possible that you weren’t properly notified, or simply forgot. And some people can be scared of the possibility of a court appearance, and don’t show up out of temporary panic.
Whatever the reason for your failure to appear, Arizona Criminal courts take these matters very seriously. And if you didn’t understand how serious this situation was, now you do. And the good news is, if you haven’t been arrested for failure to appear, it’s not to late to fix it and get your outstanding arrest warrant cleared.
Our experienced criminal attorneys can work with the courts to help explain why you may have missed your court date(s), get you new dates, get the arrest warrant cleared, and get you back on track. In many cases, we can even get the additional charges dropped.
But don’t wait to act. Contact us immediately, while you still have options. Because if you are picked up on the outstanding warrant, your options will be severely limited, and it will be difficult to explain why you didn’t proactively deal with this situation. So call us today. We can help.
How Likely Am I To Get Caught on a Warrant?
Very likely, and getting more likely all the time. If you have a warrant in your name, your driver’s license has been suspended. And Arizona police have license plate scanners so you could be flagged, stopped and arrested just for driving down the street.
The risk of avoiding court appearances really is too great these days, especially when there may be excellent strategies for criminal defense in your case.
Arizona Failure to Appear – Laws and Penalties
In Arizona there are two degrees of failure to appear:
Failure to Appear First Degree (ARS 13-2507)
Failure to appear in the first degree is when you miss a required court date to answer to felony charges. If you missed this court date you will face this additional Class 5 felony charge.
This additional felony charge has a potential sentence of up to 1 ½ years in prison. This is a serious charge to have added to your already existing legal problems.
Failure to Appear Second Degree (ARS 13-2506)
Failure to appear in the second degree is when you fail to show up for a court date in regards to a misdemeanor or infraction charge. This additional charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
A Class 1 misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to 6 months in jail as well as fines up to $2,500.
For both failure to appear charges, the DMV will be notified of you absence and your license will be immediately suspended.
How Does Bail Work in Arizona?
Not everyone is granted bail. It is considered a privilege, not a right. However, if you are charged with a crime that is not punishable by the death penalty of life imprisonment, or as long as you don’t have an escape charge on your criminal record, an Arizona judge may grant bail in your case.
Bail Forfeiture (“bail jumping”) ARS 13-3858
If a judge sees you as a safe risk to release pending future court dates, she may set bail. When you post bail you are essentially making a promise to appear before the court for future dates. When you return to court as directed, most often your bail will be returned to you or applied to fines and/or court costs.
However, if you fail to return for your future court dates as promised, your bail will be forfeited. This means simply that once you are caught and returned to court, you will no longer be able to receive the bail money that was posted.
Although bail forfeiture is not a separate criminal charge, it is often used in conjunction with failure to appear charges.
Fix your Arizona Failure to Appear Charge Now, While You Can
If you have missed a court date and are avoiding the law. Know that you will be caught. It is only a matter of time before the police and the courts catch up with you.
The longer you wait to face your charges, the more severely you may be treated by the courts. Unfortunately warrants and criminal charges don’t just “go away”. Even Arizona arrest warrants that are decades old can pop up and get you arrested as a fugitive. The safest move in a situation like yours is to immediately contact our attorneys with experience in dealing with charges like this. We will offer you a free case evaluation and talk to you about what you are up against, and how we can help.