If you are charged with failure to appear in addition to the original charges surrounding the reason that you were supposed to show up in court in the first place, you could be looking at significant consequences. Understanding the California crime of failure to appear begins with hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney.
You could be charged with the crime of failure to appear in California if you were originally charged with a crime in the State of California, you were released from custody and then you failed to show up in court when required to do so. This is outlined under California Penal Code 1320, which lays out failing to appear for those defendants who were released on their own recognizance, and Penal Code 1320.5 explains failure to appear for defendants who were released on bail. There are serious penalties associated with failure to appear in California, but the penalties will be based on the type of crime that you were originally convicted of or charged with.
These penalties can include a fine of up to $1000 and as long as 6 months in jail, but potential penalties may be higher if you were charged with or convicted of a felony and released on bail or released on your own recognizance. In any of those situations, the judge is eligible to issue a California bench warrant for your arrest due to your failure to appear. This might seem like a straightforward crime, but defenses are available when you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Some of the most common defenses include saying that you did not sign an agreement when you were released on your own recognizance, that you did not have the intent of evading the processes of the court, and that you did not willfully failed to appear when you were required to show up in court. Consulting with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is necessary.