Weatherford Failure to Appear Lawyer
Not every criminal case in Texas courts arises out of conflict between people or destruction of property. Some cases stem from a defendant’s failure to follow a court’s instructions. Often, the defendants in these cases were not the subject of a criminal charge at all but were otherwise ordered to appear before a court and failed to do so. Whatever the exact series of events that led to the imposition of this charge, a Weatherford failure to appear lawyer may be able to help. One of our passionate criminal defense attorneys could help you understand why you are accused of failing to appear as ordered and formulate a defense designed to protect your rights in court.
Why a Person may be Required to Appear
Orders issued by Texas courts carry the full effect of the law. Common examples of such orders include requiring a person who is released from custody to reappear in court at a certain date and time, reappear for a pre-trial hearing, speak as a witness, or even report to a probation officer.
Because these orders carry the full weight of the law, any failure to adhere to these orders is a criminal offense. According to Texas Penal Code §38.10, a person who fails to appear in court as ordered after being conditionally released or released on bail is subject to criminal punishment. The severity of the new charge may be influenced by the work of a Weatherford failure to appear lawyer but primarily depends on the severity of the criminal offense at the core of the case.
For example, most failure to appear charges are class A misdemeanors for which a conviction can result in up to one year in jail. However, if the underlying charge was a class C misdemeanor or another charge punishable by only a fine, the new charge is also a class C misdemeanor.
In the same vein, if the underlying charge was a felony-level offense, the failure to appear charge would be a felony in the third degree. Convictions here are punishable by up to ten years in prison, with a mandatory minimum of two years.
Potential Defenses to Allegations of Failing to Appear
While Texas takes allegations that a person failed to adhere to a court order seriously, the statute governing these cases does provide some potential defenses. A defendant charged with this crime may argue that the failure to appear was because they were serving a sentence of community service, parole, or imprisonment at the time of the scheduled hearing.
Since a defendant cannot be in two places at once, a separate court order requiring a defendant to serve this time can be used as evidence to support excusing a failure to appear. In all other scenarios, a defendant should be prepared to present evidence that there was a good faith reason for them missing their hearing. Examples of qualifying scenarios may include:
- The defendant never received a notice in the mail
- The defendant was in the hospital with a medical emergency
- The defendant had a simultaneous hearing at another courthouse
A failure to appear lawyer in Weatherford could assist clients to gather the evidence needed to pursue an excused absence defense in failure to appear cases.
A Weatherford Failure to Appear Lawyer Could Help Preserve Your Freedom
Orders issued by Texas criminal courts to reappear at a future date should be followed to the best of a person’s ability. This is because a failure to adhere to these orders could result in not just the revocation of any bail provided in the underlying case but also the imposition of new criminal charges.
These new charges could lead to convictions that carry a heavy prison sentence. Because of this, it is essential that defendants take steps to protect themselves. This can include hiring a Weatherford failure to appear lawyer.
Attorneys work to examine the processes used in the prior case to determine how the court issued the summons, evaluate actions you took that may have caused you to miss the hearing, and present this evidence in court to protect your rights. Contact our team today to let us get to work for you.