Pennsylvania attracts thousands of tourists every year. So it's no surprise that some out-of-state visitors may get in the trouble with the law. For visitors facing criminal charges in Montgomery County, PA, it's important to understand the gravity of having criminal charges in another state, and what entails.
If you've been arrested and charged with a crime in Montgomery County, this is where you will be tried. Obviously, this will lead to some serious additional logistical issues for you. The criminal prosecution requires defendants to attend court dates. If you've been released on bail or other terms pending trial, then it can be very difficult to return to Montgomery County everytime a mandatory court appearance is scheduled. As a result, you'll have to sacrifice time away from your career and family. Not to mention the costly expenses associated with traveling back and forth.
Obtaining legal representation is the only to make this situation easier. An attorney can negotiate deals to get dates changed or moved around to accommodate your situation. A legal representative can even attend some court dates on your behalf to save you valuable time and money.
Missing Court Dates
Missing a court date will be detrimental to your case. Some out-of-state residents may be under the impression that if they don't show their face at a court date once or twice, a judge will take their compromising situation into consideration and let them off the hook. Unfortunately, this isn't how the court operates. Whether you deliberately missed a court date or you had issues with commuting, failing to appear in court for a mandatory court date is a crime.
In accordance with Pennsylvania Code Rule 1919.13-1, the failure to appear at a court date will inevitably result in the issuing of an outstanding bench warrant. This means that you face being arrested at any time or place. You could be pulled over at a traffic stop, or you could merely be around law enforcement during an incident that is totally unrelated to your charges. If a police officer manages to run your name through their database and an arrest warrant shows up, they are legally obligated to arrest you on sight. Regardless of if you are discovered in state or out-of-state, you'll be sent to a correctional facility until the warrant is remedied. Bail conditions will also be revoked as an additional consequence for a missed court date.
If you are aware that there is a bench warrant for your arrest, you should contact an experienced Montgomery County criminal defense attorney immediately. A legal professional can advise you to take the most appropriate course of action. Many out-of-state residents who were in this situation have experienced being held in custody without bail for days, weeks, and even months before being extradited to Montgomery County authorities.
Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorney
The bottom line is that out-of-state residents have every reason to obtain legal representation. Not only will the help of an attorney make an acquired criminal charge easier to mitigate, it will ultimately save you time and money in the long run.
If you've been charged with a crime in Montgomery County, or if you have a warrant out for your arrest, don't hesitate to contact experienced attorney Joseph D. Lento today. To schedule a consultation with him, contact him online or by phone at (215) 535-5353.