If you are given notice by a court to appear for a trial or hearing on a certain date, failing to show up for that appointment can lead to dire consequences. There are various criminal and procedural sanctions a court can impose against someone who misses a court date, including fines and jail time, and someone who fails to reappear after being released on bail could even be charged with a felony offense.

In either situation, representation from a seasoned defense attorney can go a long way towards alleviating the consequences this kind of problem could cause you. Because of this, contacting a Carrollton failure to appear lawyer from our firm should be your absolute top priority if you just missed a scheduled court appearance for any reason. Reach out to J. Ryan Brown Law today to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional.

When Can Courts Issue Warrants Over Failures to Appear?

Technically, there are two ways that the Official Code of Georgia addresses someone failing to appear in court when ordered: as “failure to appear,” or as “bail jumping.” The former offense is much less severe by comparison, as it refers to someone willfully failing to appear in court following receipt of a traffic citation served upon them (in other words, after getting pulled over and getting ticketed for a traffic offense serious enough to require going before a judge).

Under Official Code of Georgia §40-13-63, this kind of failure to appear is punishable by a maximum $200 fine and/or three-day stay in jail, in addition to whatever other sanctions might be applicable from the underlying offense. Additionally, Georgia law permits the court to issue a driver’s license suspension for any person who fails to answer a traffic citation, generally lasting until the defendant responds to their citation, fulfills all court-ordered conditions related to it, and pays a reinstatement fee to the Department of Driver Services. A Carrollton failure to appear attorney could help resolve this sort of manner in the most proactive way possible.

Possible Consequences of Bail Jumping

Bail jumping, on the other hand, is a much more serious matter that is treated as a distinct criminal offense all on its own. According to O.C.G.A. §16-10-51, someone who is released from incarceration on bail (or on recognizance following their arraignment) and then deliberately fails to return to court on the assigned date has committed a misdemeanor offense if their original charge was a misdemeanor, and a felony offense if their original charge was a felony.

On top of forfeiting any amount of money paid for bail, someone convicted under this statute may face up to one year of jail time and/or a $1,000 fine for misdemeanor bail jumping. They face up to five years imprisonment and/or $5,000 in fines for felony bail jumping. Additionally, as a failure to appear attorney in Carrollton can explain, someone who leaves the state of Georgia while bail jumping after certain misdemeanor charges may have their bail jumping charge categorized as a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

A Carrollton Failure to Appear Attorney Wants to Help

Whether it is referred to as failure to appear or as bail jumping, missing a court date can result in substantial sanctions if the court believes you did so on purpose. However, if you act quickly and provide a compelling explanation for missing your hearing or trial, you may be able to avoid the worst penalties associated with this charge.

Help from a seasoned Carrollton failure to appear lawyer can be vital to amicably and efficiently resolving a case like this. Call J. Ryan Brown Law today to learn more.

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC