Failure to Appear in court when required on a criminal or separate charge is a separate criminal offense that will very likely get you jail time if you are caught and charged. You don’t do yourself any favors by challenging the court to give you the most severe penalties by skipping a court date. If you fail to appear, a judge will almost always issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
Whether you made a mistake, were out of town and unable to appear, or were simply scared and panicked about your court appearance, this is a problem you need to deal with immediately, while you still have options to control the situation.
What should I do if I missed a court date?
A lawyer will only advise you that you need to make every court appearance and address the situation immediately with the court if there is a problem.
If you are willing to fix it as soon as possible, an experienced lawyer can definitely help smooth the way. I can help you argue that it was a mistake and that you deserve another chance, and intent to make good on your legal obligations.
There are always negotiating options in these matters, but you need to act quickly. Call me for a legal consultation right away at (203) 418-8553.
Failure to Appear in Connecticut – Laws and Penalties
Failure to appear when wanted on a felony charge is an additional felony offense, under Connecticut law. If you are wanted on a misdemeanor or motor vehicle violation and fail to appear on the required date, it is a misdemeanor offense. (Note – this may not apply to a voluntary appeal of a civil moving violation, like a speeding ticket).
- Failure to appear in the first degree is a Class D Felony. A class D felony offense has a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine.
- Failure to appear in the second degree is a Class A Misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor offense has a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail, and a $2000 fine.
What will happen if they catch me?
You will be arrested and held in jail for some period of time, before being brought into court. From there, it depends on the seriousness of the underlying charges what happens next.
Will they find me?
Eventually, yes. It is increasingly easy for the police to find someone who is flagged with an outstanding criminal warrant for failure to appear.
I have an old failure to appear outstanding warrant in Connecticut. What should I do?
There is no statute of limitations on a skipped court date. In fact, even very old warrants regularly show up on computer searches. So even if nothing has happened to you in years, you absolutely cannot assume that you are free and clear. As computer databases are connected around the country, and the information sharing between police departments nationwide increases, you are at risk every day of being caught, anywhere in the country.
If you are out of the country, you risk being flagged when trying to come back to the United States.
What if I live out of state?
If you have an outstanding Connecticut warrant that you want to clear up, it is possible that it can be resolved without you needing to appear in court. Please call me to find out what I can do to resolve the situation for you without needing to come to Connecticut.
Further Reference: Failure to Appear – 53a-172, 53a-173
Free Legal Consultation on Failure to Appear on a Criminal Matter in Connecticut
So call me now at (203) 418-8553 or contact me for your consultation and case evaluation. Don’t wait and risk the most severe penalties if you are picked up on failure to appear charges.