Pennsylvania is a very popular state for tourists, drawing thousands of people each year. Mix this large influx of people with the heavy police presence and some out-of-state residents are bound to get on the wrong side of the law. For visitors facing criminal charges in Chester County, PA, it's important you understand the gravity of the situation you're in.
If you've been arrested and charged in Chester County, this is where your offense will officially be tried, and where the process will take place. Since you're from another state, this will obviously add some serious logistical issues to your experience. The criminal prosecution process requires that you attend a series of court dates. This can be very difficult, as you have a career, family, and life to get back to at home. Not to mention the costly expenses that come with commuting to and fro.
The only way to make this situation easier is to obtain legal representation. An attorney can negotiate a deal that includes changing or moving court dates to accommodate you. A legal representative can also attend some court dates on your behalf to save you time and money.
Missing Court Dates
You should never miss a court date under any circumstances. Some out of-state-residents may be under the impression that if they don't make it, a judge will take their situation into consideration and be understanding. But this isn't how the court operates. Whether you deliberately missed a court date or you couldn't make it because of travel issues, failing to show up in court for a mandatory appearance is against the law.
According to Pennsylvania Code Rule 1919.13-1, the failure to appear at a court date will always result in the issuing of an outstanding bench warrant. When the court orders this, it means that you can be apprehended at any time. You can be pulled over, or even be around law enforcement for a reason totally unrelated to your charges. A law enforcement officer can run your name through a computer and the arrest warrant will show up. Once an officer sees this information, he or she is obligated to make an arrest on sight. Regardless of if you're arrested in your home state or in Pennsylvania, you will be held in a correctional facility until the warrant is remedied. Bail conditions will also be revoked as an additional consequence.
If you have been notified that there is an outstanding bench warrant against you, you should contact an experienced Chester County defense attorney as soon as possible. A legal professional can come up with the most appropriate course of action. In these cases, some defendants have experienced being held in police custody without bail for days, weeks, or even months before getting extradited to Chester County authorities. 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.
Chester 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 Chester County, or if you have a warrant out for your arrest, don't hesitate to contact experienced attorney Joseph D. Lento today. You can touch bases with him today online or by phone at (215) 535-5353.