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Failure to Appear is a Crime

Chances are you didn't mean to miss your day in court however, the consequences are still the same. If you fail to appear in court in Michigan, you may now have an additional misdemeanor charge against you and there may also be a warrant out for your arrest. Missing a court day does not simply go away. There is no statute of limitations for failure to appear, the court does not simply forget.

While your court day may be inconvenient for you, unlike other appointments, it is not set by you, but is based on the courts schedule. Failure to appear or FTA's may not seem like a big deal to some however, under certain circumstances, the charges can be more than just inconvenient. From traffic tickets to misdemeanors and felonies or even jury duty, the judge is not alright with you missing your day in court.

What may happen?

If you fail to appear for your court case, there are a number of potential consequences which may occur depending on the initial charge. These consequences may include:

Fines and jail time

In the case of traffic related issues, you may face not only additional fines but even jail time, no matter how minor your traffic related case may have been. In addition, if you fail to appear for traffic related offenses, even parking tickets, you may face license suspension and additional fines to get your license back, as well.

Bench Warrant

In some cases, including misdemeanors, if you fail to appear in court, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest by the judge. This warrant allows law enforcement officers to take you into custody. While law enforcement may not, in some cases, actively seek you out, it is always a better idea to simply turn yourself in and avoid the embarrassment and consequences of being "found."

Additional Charges

If you are found guilty of failure to appear in Michigan, you may face additional misdemeanor charges which bring with it more fines and even more jail time.

While you may believe that you had a legitimate reason for missing your court date, simply failing to appear is never good. There are ways to defend your position however, such as if the court failed to send you a notice by mail or if you did not willfully fail to appear. Your attorney can help you understand these and other aspects of your case.

Like other crimes, Michigan has its own rules and regulations regarding what happens if you fail to appear. For this and other reasons, it is important that you hire an attorney to assist you with your case. Collis and Griffor are attorneys, located in Ypsilanti, who can help.

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