Failure to Appear in Court
There are consequences of failure to appear in court, which are considerable, even if you were released from custody on bail. There are tons and tons of excuses that are not accepted by the court as good reasons not to be in court.
“I overslept”. “I forgot the date”. “I had to bring my daughter to school”. Trying to use an excuse like these will do nothing to help your case because a Judge won’t recognize them as valid reasons not to appear in court. However, there are a few events that could legitimately prevent you from appearing in court, and when explained to a Judge, he or she will most likely accept the excuse as valid. If you are in jeopardy of being charged with failure to appear in court, it’s important if you had good cause for failure to appear in court as this could save you a lot of time and money.
Before we go into some valid excuses that can get you out of a failure to appear in court charge, it’s important that you understand what excuses will not be accepted by the court.
If you are being charged with failure to appear because of one of the following reasons, you will not be able to get out of the charge:
• Purposely avoiding court
• Forgetting about the court date
• Having a previous engagement (doctor’s appointment, meeting, etc.)
• Going to work
• Moving and not receiving the notice of when your court date is
While some of these excuses might seem valid to you, they will not be considered appropriate excuses in the eyes of the law.
In contrast, there are a few instances where you will not be penalized for failing to appear in court. There is no set definition of “good cause for failure to appear”, but the court will take into consideration your individual case and circumstances in order to determine if you have a valid excuse for failing to appear or not.
There are three major cases where there is good cause for failure to appear.
Three Major Cases:
- Unforeseeable events: If an unforeseeable emergency occurs and there is not time to notify the court, this might be enough to get you out of a failure to appear charge. An example of one such unforeseeable event is a medical emergency in which you are rushed to the hospital and kept overnight. In the event of an emergency surgery or other medical emergency, you might not have the opportunity to inform the court that you will be unable to appear in court.
- Lawyer withdraws without notice: If you have legal counsel who is supposed to go to court for you and he or she withdraws as your legal representative suddenly (usually within a week before the hearing) and if you were not aware that this representative would not appear in court, you will not be held responsible in most cases.
- No notification of hearing: This is the most common example of good cause for failure to appear. If a notice was never sent out telling you when your court date was, you cannot be held responsible. HOWEVER, if a notice was sent and you did not receive it due to a change of address, this is not the court’s fault and you will be held responsible.
Each case is clearly different. For more information about your bond or failure to appear in court predicament, contact Connecticut Bail Bonds today.