If you ever miss a court date, the court issues a warrant for your arrest. As soon as you can, appear in court to recall the warrant. Acting quickly shows you are serious about the case. Failing to act quickly can lead to police showing up at your house or job and arresting you, leading to further charges.
However, you should never appear in court without a lawyer to represent you. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to recall the warrant without you having to appear in court, depending on the charges.
In Florida, failing to appear to a court date is actually considered a crime. If you fail to appear in court after posting bond, you will receive a notice to appear or a bench warrant (capias) for your arrest. Failing to appear at court is typically a first-degree misdemeanor. However, it can increase to a felony if the court date you missed was for a felony charge.
The penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include:
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to 12 months in jail
If you failed to appear at a court date for a felony charge, while awaiting sentencing, or while your sentence is pending review, you may be charged with a third-degree felony.
The maximum penalties for a third-degree felony include:
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- Up to five years of imprisonment
Florida courts take failing to appear in court very seriously. If you become a flight risk, a warrant will be issued immediately.
Whenever you are appearing in court, it is always best to have an attorney on your side. Contact Attorney Brandon Gans now if you have missed a court date.