Every person who faces criminal charges in Hackensack or anywhere else in the state must be sure to appear before the court when required. This applies equally regardless of whether this is a first appearance for an arraignment, a pretrial session, or a final trial. Furthermore, all people must appear whether they are free on bail or are awaiting trial on personal recognizance.

A Hackensack failure to appear lawyer could be able to help if you believe that you have missed a required court date. A skilled attorney could contact the court on your behalf to learn if a warrant is out for your arrest, arrange for a new appearance, and fight for reduced penalties that may result from a failure to appear as required.

Possible Penalties for Failing to Appear in Criminal Court

New Jersey Court Rule 7:8-9 lays out the penalties that a court may impose as a consequence of failing to appear as a defendant in a traffic court case or other criminal matter. A non-appearance will, at a minimum, allow the court to issue a notice that reschedules the hearing. This is the best-case scenario for most people.

However, courts have the authority to issue additional penalties for failing to appear. A criminal court may fine an individual a maximum of $100. If the matter involves a non-parking motor vehicle ticket, the court may also order the suspension of that person’s driver’s license. Beyond the payment of a fine, a court has the authority to issue a bench warrant for an immediate arrest upon contact with law enforcement. Finally, the court may order that a defendant forfeit their bail and await trial in custody. A Hackensack attorney could help people to understand the consequences of failing to appear before a criminal court anywhere in the state.

How an Attorney Could Help a Defendant Avoid Additional Penalties

As a general rule, a court’s order to appear at a specific place and time is set in stone. However, the courts do recognize that emergencies can occur that jeopardize a person’s safety or ability to appear as required. The burden lies on defendants to prove these concepts and avoid additional punishment.

A Hackensack failure to appear attorney could take the lead to present this information to the court. This may include evidence of a conflicting session in a separate court. It may also include proof of hospitalization or severe illness that leaves a person incapacitated. It is important to note that simple forgetfulness or other, non-legal obligations are not valid excuses. Hiring an attorney to present a case that argues for a fair outcome could help to convince a court of an individual’s justification for their failure to appear.

Reach Out to a Hackensack Failure to Appear Attorney Immediately

Failing to appear for a required date in criminal court can come with severe consequences. A court is likely to issue a bench warrant for your immediate arrest and may order you to forfeit any funds that resulted in your release on bail. For traffic cases, this may also lead to a license suspension.

It may be possible to avoid these penalties, even if you did miss your day in court. A Hackensack failure to appear lawyer could help you to gather evidence that justifies your absence. They then present this evidence to the court and argue for a reduction in penalties or a simple rescheduling for a future date. Give us a call today to limit the damage that may result from your failure to appear.