Philadelphia is a city that attracts tourists from across the region and throughout the country. Our city's deep and rich history brings people from all over, and the culture makes them come back for more.
However, if you have been a visitor from out of state when you were arrested and charged with a crime, your status as an out of state resident can become a problem: the court process in Philadelphia will require you to be present at numerous court dates in the future, and missing them is not an option.
Having a local Philadelphia criminal defense attorney to help you through your case can make a huge difference, saving you time and money by scheduling your court appearances in ways that make them easier for you to attend, and by appearing on your behalf whenever possible.
The Deep Costs of Missing Court Dates
Just because you are an out of state resident facing a criminal charge in Philadelphia does not mean that the judge or magistrate who hears your case will go lightly on you. The city's court dockets are full and overflowing, so even if the judge on your case could make it go easier for you, they often have their hands tied. Most judges, however, do not think that your inconvenience and travel time are worth their effort to make the case more manageable for you.
However, no matter how difficult it can be for you to make the assigned court dates, failing to appear at one that requires your presence can be disastrous. Philadelphia Code Rule 1919.13-1 requires you to be present at your court dates, or else a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. Such a warrant retains its powers, even past the borders of Pennsylvania and into other states – you can be arrested at your home in another state under this bench warrant. Perhaps even worse, the bail requirement that you will have to post if you want to be released before your trial will increase because you missed an earlier court date, making it more difficult to get out of jail before trial.
These are all reasons for reaching out to a local criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia if you are an out of state resident who has been accused of a crime in the city. By retaining local counsel, you can rely on them to make whatever court appearances they can make on your behalf, and to schedule your other court dates at times that are far more convenient for you than the court would otherwise order.
Joseph D. Lento: Criminal Defense in the City of Philadelphia
Joseph D. Lento practices criminal defense law for those accused of a crime in the city of Philadelphia and the surrounding area, including those who live or primarily reside out of state. If you have been charged with a crime and need local counsel to help you make your court appearances and defend you against the accusations against you, contact him online or by phone at 215-535-5353.