Get Legal Help Free Consultation. When someone agrees or is summoned to appear in court at a specified time, he or she must be certain to honor that obligation.
In Virginia, Failure to Appear FTA can result in a judge issuing a bench warrant for the arrest of the individual who missed a court date. Failure to appear before a Virginia court is a criminal offense separate from the crime with which one was originally charged. Even if the initial charge is dismissed or if the case ends in acquittal, the defendant will still pay the penalties of failing to appear if he or she does not show up at the appointed time.
If you think or know that you have missed a court date, it is important to contact a Virginia failure to appear lawyer quickly for a proactive approach to dealing with your Virginia failure to appear charge and your bench warrant. It is important to keep in mind that until you surrender yourself on the bench warrant, you risk being picked up at any time. Failure to Appear is a criminal charge that carries significant penalties.
If you mistakenly missed the court date, or if you had a legitimate reason for missing, a Virginia criminal attorney may be able to help you clear the arrest warrant if you act quickly. Although police are not generally actively searching for people with a bench warrant, you can be arrested at any time—most commonly after a routine traffic stop.
Once you are picked up, it is much more difficult to avoid the consequences of a contempt of court charge.
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