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What Happens If I Fail To Appear In Court?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

The thought of attending court is intimidating for many first-time offenders. The pressure of being asked questions, facing judges and a jury is so overwhelming that some defendants decide to skip their court date altogether. For others, the prospect of work, school, and other obligations keeps them from appearing in court. Regardless, ditching may seem like a good idea at the time, but it will come back to bite you. People who don't attend mandatory court dates usually end up with a bench warrant issued for their arrest, resulting in more time in court that they'll eventually have to spend and additional legal charges and penalties. So before deciding to skip out, you might want to read this article.

One thing you should remember is that failing to appear in court is a criminal offense in Pennsylvania. Some people refuse to show up because they think that the system will eventually forget about them or give up on their case. Of course, judges and prosecutors are busy people with numerous matters to pay attention to. Perhaps your case will be overlooked, especially if it's a minor crime like a traffic violation or trespassing, right? Wrong. Missing court will make your situation much worse than it was initially because you decided to not show up. Now, the judge will have to issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

A bench warrant is what it sounds like. It's a warrant for your arrest, but this order is issued by a judge from the “bench.” It is enforced like a regular warrant also. All law enforcement in the state will have access to this order, which means that any run-ins with them could lead to an arrest. If you're caught, you'll be held anywhere between one and three days before you have access to a hearing. The day of your hearing, your bench warrant will be lifted. But whether you'll be released or detained is entirely up to a judge. So, instead of attending court for your original charges that could have possibly been dismissed, you're left to face a new set of criminal charges.

If you have already failed to appear in court and have a bench warrant against you, your best bet is to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Your attorney will provide you with the ideal options for your situation. In some cases, missing court is acceptable. But you'll have to obtain documents to justify it. An attorney can help you figure out if your reason for missing is excusable or not.

Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney

The bottom line is that if you're involved in the court system at all, you need the help of an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento brings a wealth of experience to the table, as he's successfully handled numerous cases just like yours. But most importantly, his familiarity with the overall process can be a source of comfort for you in one of the most stressful times of your life. For more information about his representation or how he can help you, contact him online or by phone today at 215-535-5353.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience fighting for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, and New Jersey while concurrently representing students in disciplinary proceedings at universities and colleges locally and and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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