When a court date is set, it is your responsibility to be there. More important than a simple appointment, missing a court date can bring you another criminal charge. When facing a failure to appear charge in the Tennessee criminal courts, a skilled attorney is key. It may be difficult for you to fix it by yourself.
When a judge schedules you to be in court at a certain time, she expects you to attend. Unlike missing an appointment at your doctor’s office, however, the judge can see that you face criminal charges for missing this appointment.
We know that in life unexpected things happen all the time and maybe there is a legitimate reason why you were unable to get to court. We know that you are probably worried sick about what this might mean for you. We can help.
It is also possible that you didn’t know about the court date, weren’t notified, or mixed up the dates. If we deal with this quickly, it is possible it can be fixed without further damage. But you really can’t wait another minute to resolve it.
We have handled numerous failure to appear cases in the state of Tennessee. We know that sometimes judges are lenient depending on the circumstances of your situation. We also know that you cannot wait forever.
Some people think that if there is a warrant out for their arrest they can hide forever. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Typically they get caught and when they do, their punishment is often more severe than those who turned themselves in. This is because the court respects people taking responsibility for their mistakes.
Call us today to discuss your failure to appear case. If you have a warrant we can help you decide on the next move and get you in a place where you can make things right again.
Penalties for Failure to Appear in Tennessee Courts
The charge you are facing depends on the court date that you missed. For example, if your court date is regarding a felony charge, your failure to appear charge will be more serious than if it were a low-level misdemeanor.
If your original charge was a Class A misdemeanor or any felony: Your failure to appear charge will be a Class E felony, punishable by 1-6 years in prison and fines up to $3,000.
If your original charge was a misdemeanor, your failure to appear will be a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $2,500.
Ref: TCA 39-16-1609
In addition to your failure to appear charge, your bail will be forfeited if you were out on bond at the time of your failure to appear. This simply means that the money you posted for your release will be lost to you.
Facing additional charges is probably not what you had in mind when you missed your court date. We know that you may be frightened of the outcome of your case. We want to help. Call to discuss the specifics of your case with a legal team that has your best interests in mind.