Individuals in California can face criminal charges if they fail to appear in court as ordered. Penal Code 853.7 deals with one kind of failure to appear charge. PC 853.7 applies when someone violates a written promise to appear.
In many cases, the court requires individuals to make a written promise if they are released on their own recognizance. This means the court is trusting them to come back for their trial or hearing. Their failure to return can lead to fines and incarceration.
Learn more about how to defend yourself against possible penalties for violating a written promise to appear with the Simmrin Law Group. Just call (310) 997-4688.
Comparing PC 853.7 to Other Failure to Appear Charges
PC 853.7 is not the only criminal charge used to prosecute failure to appear in California. This charge only applies if someone:
- Makes a written promise to come back to court AND
- Willfully chose not to return to court
Individuals should only face PC 853.7 charges if they acted purposefully to avoid a court date. This charge should not apply if someone tried to go to court and was stopped by circumstances beyond their control. Otherwise, there are additional charges used to handle the failure to appear, including:
Penal Code 1320
PC 1320 deals with individuals who are released on their own recognizance and given a court order that states they must return to court. This charge is closely related to PC 853.7. However, individuals do not have to sign anything to face PC 1320 charges.
Penal Code 1320.5
PC 1320.5 charges are used if someone is released on bail and ordered to return with a court order. Bail is a monetary payment made to the court. Individuals who fail to appear while out on bail face criminal charges in California.
Vehicle Code 40508
When an individual is pulled over and given a traffic ticket, this ticket usually includes a court date. Individuals who do not attend court on the listed date can face charges for failure to appear. They may also face these charges if they do not pay bail for a traffic ticket. Find out more about how to fight failure to appear charges with the Simmrin Law Group at (310) 997-4688.
Penalties for Violating a Written Promise to Appear in California
Violating a written promise to appear is considered a misdemeanor in California. A conviction can lead to serious results, including:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to six months
Note that individuals can also face criminal penalties for the underlying charge they faced. For example, say someone was accused of trespassing and was released after signing a promise to return for their trial. However, they decided not to return to court for the trial, hoping to avoid a conviction. This individual could face PC 853.7 charges. They could also continue to face the penalties for trespassing if they were convicted.
Finally, it’s important to know that PC 853.7 charges can still apply if someone is found not guilty of the underlying charge. If the individual charged with trespassing was declared not guilty by the court, this means they do not have to pay fines or spend time in jail for trespassing. However, they’d still be guilty of violating a written promise to appear.
Defenses Against PC 853.7 Charges in California
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can step in to help if you’re accused of a PC 853.7 violation. There are a number of defenses that work against these charges. A lawyer can help you show that you:
- Failed to appear in court by accident
- Were forced to miss your court date by necessity
- Actually appeared in court
Any of the above defenses could help you avoid a conviction under PC 853.7. A lawyer could work to get your charges reduced or dismissed in some situations. We can help you build a defense in court here in Los Angeles.
Get Help Handling Penal Code 853.7 Charges Right Now
Accused of violating a written promise to appear in California? Build your defense to Penal Code 853.7 charges right now with the Simmrin Law Group. We’re here to help. Just call (310) 997-4688. You can also fill out our online contact form to begin working with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles now.
We’ll go over your case today with a free consultation.