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Courts in Marquette and throughout the rest of Michigan have the authority to demand that you appear before a Judge to answer to criminal charges. This could include anything from answering for a traffic ticket to minor misdemeanors or even felony cases. In all examples, a failure to appear can have severe consequences that are best handled under the guidance of a qualified criminal defense attorney.

If you have missed a court date related to a criminal charge, a Marquette failure to appear lawyer may be able to help you fight for fair terms that allow you to avoid any additional penalties. Call Berger Law today to find out more.

The Court’s Power to Compel Attendance

While the criminal courts in Marquette operate on the understanding that they have the power to demand individuals to appear, they also recognize that keeping people in custody while awaiting the end of their cases is unfair and unconstitutional. As a result, an initial court appearance on a criminal charge, known as an arraignment, will determine a defendant’s bail conditions.

These bail conditions intend to function as a promise to appear in court in the future if released from holding. For many, this assurance alone is sufficient. In other cases, the court will set terms that require a person to pay cash or pledge property. Adding monetary contributions or assets as collateral incentivizes an individual to show up to retain their money or property. A practiced Marquette attorney could provide more information about the concept of bail and failure to appear.

What Are the Potential Consequences of Failing to Appear?

Michigan Penal Code § 780.62 describes the penalties associated with a failure to appear in criminal court for a traffic offense or misdemeanor-level charge. Under the statute, failing to appear when scheduled is a separate misdemeanor-level offense. This means that instead of facing one conviction, an individual would be facing two with an additional jail sentence of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. A failure to appear for more severe crimes could pose the risk of felony charges, being found in contempt of court, or longer jail times and heftier fines.

In addition, failing to appear often results in a court revoking all current bail conditions and issuing a warrant of arrest for a person to await the end of their case behind bars. A competent Marquette failure to appear attorney could help present evidence to the court that excuses an individual’s absence in an attempt to avoid further penalties.

Speak with a Marquette Failure to Appear Attorney for Legal Help Today

Failure to appear as a defendant in a criminal case can have harsh consequences. Judges hearing these cases have the authority to issue warrants for your immediate arrest and could order the forfeiture of any bail you have in place. In addition, failing to appear can be added as a new criminal charge with potential penalties that apply in addition to those that may result from a conviction in the core case.

A dedicated Marquette failure to appear lawyer wants to help you avoid these outcomes. They can explore your reason for not appearing, schedule a time to address the matter in court, and present evidence on your behalf in hopes of pursuing the best possible legal outcome. Reach out to Berger Law now to obtain the protection you need.