Failing to appear for a court-scheduled hearing could have significant consequences in this state. You could face steep fines or time in prison. In many cases, the court will notify law enforcement immediately, and they could arrest you at any time.
Reaching out to a Beaufort failure to appear lawyer is your best defense. A diligent criminal defense attorney at Schiller & Hamilton could work with the court on your behalf and request the judge to schedule a new hearing date in the future.
Consequences for Failing to Go to Court
The potential consequences for not showing up at court depend on the circumstances of the arrest and charges. The defendant’s steps after missing the hearing also play a significant role in the penalties they face. Potential consequences include the:
- Judge reschedules the hearing for a future date
- Defendant faces contempt of court charges
- Court finds the defendant guilty in their absence
- Judge issues a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest
- Defendant faces fines and imprisonment
Failing to appear could cause additional charges and conviction. Reaching out to a skilled attorney in Beaufort immediately after missing a court date could make a difference in a new hearing.
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Steps to Take after Missing Court Date
If a defendant has an upcoming court date, it is vital that they appear for the hearing. There are no optional court dates. The only situation that could be appropriate for a defendant to miss a proceeding is if their lawyer advises so.
If a defendant misses a court-scheduled hearing, they must take immediate action or risk being arrested. The first step is reaching out to a competent lawyer in Beaufort with experience in failure to appear charges. They could file a petition and work with the court to schedule a case for a new date.
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Willfully Not Attending Court in Beaufort
If a person willfully misses a court date, the judge could sentence them to the following penalties. As per South Carolina Code § 17-15-90, anyone who intentionally fails to appear for a court hearing faces the possibility of a felony or a misdemeanor charge.
An individual facing misdemeanor charges that intentionally misses a court date could receive up to one year and prison, and $1,000 in fines. The court could choose to apply one or both penalties. Misdemeanor charges are less severe than felonies.
Any person who misses a court hearing and faces felony charges or sentencing could face up to five years and prison, and $5,000 in fines. The court could apply both the prison time and fines depending on the judge and the situation surrounding the charges.
An attorney in Beaufort familiar with cases where someone does not show up to court could answer questions on state statute and advise of the steps to take to avoid additional punishment.
Schedule a Meeting with a Qualified Failure to Appear Attorney in Beaufort
Not attending a court-ordered hearing is a punishable criminal offense by up to five years in prison. The penalties will depend on your specific circumstances. The violation could also result in additional criminal on your permanent criminal record.
If you are aware that you missed a court date, you should first reach out to a well-versed Beaufort failure to appear lawyer. Schedule to meet with the skilled legal team at Schiller & Hamilton today if you face these serious charges.