Failure to appear in court is a criminal offense in California. Penal Code 1214.1 handles fines for the failure to appear. According to PC 1214.1, individuals can face $300.00 in fines if found guilty of this charge. However, this is often not the only penalty for failure to appear. Failure to appear can also lead to charges under PC 1320 and PC 1320.5.
Find out more about how to fight the effects of failure to appear charge with the Simmrin Law Group by contacting us today at (310) 896-2723.
Failure to Appear in California
The court can order an individual to appear at a criminal proceeding in California. Individuals must appear in court if they are charged with infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies. There are many different proceedings associated with these charges.
For example, individuals normally have to attend their arraignment hearing. During an arraignment hearing, the court informs the accused of the charges they face. The accused can also enter a plea at this hearing. After this comes pre-trial hearings and then, finally, trial.
Individuals must attend all the necessary hearings if they are given notice to appear in court. Individuals have to appear even if they are released on bail or released on their own recognizance.
A willful failure to appear in court can lead to criminal charges.
Fines for a Failure to Appear in Court
PC 1214.1 applies in addition to criminal charges for the failure to appear in California. PC 1214.1 specifically adds an additional fine to the other penalties. According to PC 1214.1, individuals have to pay a fine of $300 if they fail to appear without good cause.
This means that “good” reasons not to appear in court do exist. For example, individuals could legally miss a court date if:
- They were dealing with an emergency situation
- They were already in jail or prison
- They were deployed overseas in military service
- They were not informed they were to appear in court
In these situations, an individual could avoid a fine for a failure to appear. Find out more by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today. Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles are ready to help. Just call (310) 896-2723.
Criminal Convictions for Failure to Appear
There are additional criminal charges associated with a failure to appear in California. Charges like PC 1320 and PC 1320.5 are very serious. They deal with prosecuting individuals who are released on bail or on their own recognizance.
Bail is a payment made to the court system after an arrest. Individuals who pay bail are allowed to stay out of prison or jail while awaiting trial. However, they are expected to return on the date of their criminal trial.
Sometimes, the court releases individuals on their own recognizance. This means that individuals are released on the promise that they’ll come back for their court dates. Note that individuals can face misdemeanor or felony charges for a failure to appear.
Generally, the court levies misdemeanor charges if someone fails to appear for a misdemeanor. Felony failure to appear charges are levied if the original charge was a felony. Misdemeanor convictions can lead to six months of jail time. A felony conviction, however, can result in jail time of one year.
How to Handle Court Appearances in California
It’s important to attend all court-ordered appearances here in California. However, individuals can request a waiver of presence in some cases. Penal Code 977 covers this waiver. Individuals can file a waiver to allow a lawyer to go to court on their behalf.
Failure to appear charges should not apply if an individual has requested and received a waiver. A lawyer can also step in to help if you are accused of a failure to appear for misdemeanor or felony charges.
We can help you work on your defense if you are accused of failing to appear. We can help you show that you had a good reason to miss your court appearance. Let us work to help you avoid fines and jail time.
Discuss Fighting Failure to Appear Fines with a Lawyer Today
We’re here to help if you were accused of a failure to appear in California. Allow the Simmrin Law Group to help you review and fight the fines associated with a Penal Code 1214.1 violation. Contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer for help now at (310) 896-2723. We also have an online contact form.
Let us review your situation today with a free consultation.