What Do I Do If I Have A Failure To Appear On A Criminal Case?
When it comes to failures to appear, what usually happens is if it’s a criminal case like a misdemeanor or a felony, the judge in the Los Angeles court where you fail to appear is going to issue a warrant for your arrest. They’ll set some sort of a bail. If there’s already a bail set, sometimes they’ll set a higher bail. Some of it seems to be a bit of a form of punishment and also to show you that they’re not messing around.
I’ve also seen them in certain situations set no bail. Meaning, that when they catch you, you’re not able to bail out that way the judge makes sure that they get their hands on you and they’re able to deal with you related to your court case.
So, failures to appear are serious and obviously, if you have a failure to appear and it’s on your record and you’re in warrant status, what we have you do is come in. We get our strategy together on who the judge is, who the prosecutor is going to be that we’re going to be dealing with. We go in there, we get the warrant recalled. We get is quashed and then we deal with whatever the underlying problem was that caused the failure to appear in the first place.
One of the biggest questions I have people asking me is, if I have a failure to appear and a warrant, do I actually have to go into court or can you go in there for me? Most of the time the answer is you do have to go into court. Obviously, the judge wants to see you before they’re going to lift a warrant related to a failure to appear. Where I’ve seen exceptions occur is where somebody is out of the country or in another location where they cannot easily get in here and they’re going to have to fly in, and a lot of times I’m able to convince the prosecutor and judge to take the warrant out of the system to allow the person to fly in and not get arrested at the airport — LAX Airport for example — and they’ll take it out for two to three weeks to allow the person to get in here so they can deal with their criminal case. But, it’s very rare that they’re just going to take a warrant out or let a lawyer deal with the warrant unless somehow the warrant wasn’t the person’s fault in the first place, and then the judge may consider — if the defense attorney can prove that it wasn’t the person’s fault that the warrant got issued — the judge may consider lifting it without the person actually being there.
But for the most part, don’t let attorney trick you or fool you. You’ve got to be there to get the warrant recalled and quashed. You have to be there to get the failure to appear taken care of. These failures to appear have ramifications. A lot of times, when people get a case and they want to try to get a lower bail so they can get out and actually post the bail, if that person has a failure to appear on their record, then that makes it much more difficult to get the judge to either release you on your own recognizance where you don’t have to post a bail, or to lower your bail to something that you can actually post, because failures to appear signify to the court that you’re not a good risk as far as letting you go and hoping that you appear in the near future.
So, if you’ve got a failure to appear or you have a bench warrant, give me a call. We’ll sit down and go over everything and I’ll see what I can do to help you. Now, failures to appear on tickets, a lot of times we can take care of those without you having to appear. As long as it’s not a misdemeanor or a felony, it’s just an infraction, a lot of times I can get those failures to appear taken care of. We can get it taken care of. A lot of times it’s just a matter of appearing and be ready to pay a fine and I do that for my clients all the time. So, depending on what your failure to appear was for, which court it was I and whether there is a bail and a warrant attached to it, that’s going to dictate exactly how we handle your criminal matter in Los Angeles.
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