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Grand Rapids Failure to Appear Lawyer

There are many reasons people fail to appear in court when they are supposed to. Some people may just forget. Others are afraid of facing a fine or cannot take time off work. Whatever the reason, failing to appear becomes an offense all on its own, and it will not go away unless it is handled by a knowledgeable Grand Rapids failure to appear lawyer. In fact, the longer it is avoided, the worse the potential consequences become.

If you are facing charges for failure to appear or if you have missed a court date and are unsure what to do next, consult an attorney without delay. An experienced criminal lawyer in Grand Rapids will be able to advise you on the steps to take to keep from compounding offenses and work toward the best solution.

Failure to Appear Considerations in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Many situations can give rise to a legal requirement to appear in court at a particular place and time. Some examples are:

  • After an arrest and release on bail or bond
  • After an arrest and release on someone’s “own recognizance”
  • Contesting a traffic violation
  • Receiving a subpoena to testify as a witness or for any other reason

If someone is required to appear in court and they fail to do so, severe penalties may apply. That is why it is important to carefully read any document such as a subpoena or summons so that they understand what is expected of them. If they do not understand their obligations, a Grand Rapids failure to appear lawyer can help explain them.

Potential Consequences

A number things can happen in a failure to appear scenario. If someone fails to respond to a traffic citation or fail to comply with a traffic court judgment, the local court will notify the Michigan Department of State to suspend their driver’s license. Then if there is a conviction for a moving violation while driving with a suspended license, additional penalties apply.

Often, the court will issue a warrant for the arrest of individuals who have failed to appear as ordered, even if they have not had to post bail.

Failure to appear after being released on recognizance after a traffic violation or misdemeanor is itself considered a misdemeanor under Michigan law punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. To contest such penalties, it is important to enlist the help of a failure to appear lawyer in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Additional Penalties

Moreover, if an individual has been charged with a serious crime and fails to appear, the court will be less willing to release that individual a second time and the failure to appear offense could negatively impact the court’s ruling on the underlying charge, which makes it important to have a Grand Rapids failure to appear attorney by your side.

When federal law is involved, a failure to appear in court or appear for service of a court ordered sentence results in the following penalties, depending on the severity of the underlying crime with which the individual has been charged:

  • For crimes with a penalty of 15 or more years in prison, a fine and up to 10 additional years in prison
  • For crimes with a penalty of between five and 15 years in prison, a fine and up to five additional years in prison
  • For any other felony, a fine and up to two years in prison
  • For a misdemeanor, a fine and up to one year in prison

Contact a Grand Rapids Failure to Appear Lawyer

If you have missed a court date or failed to appear to serve a sentence or for any other court-ordered appearance, it is essential to act quickly to avoid compounding any penalties. A skilled Grand Rapids failure to appear attorney can advise you on the best course of action to bring about the most advantageous resolution.