New York Failure to Appear in Court Defense Lawyer
Failing to appear in court, also known as “bail jumping,” is a criminal offense. A New York court will likely issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant, adding additional charges and penalties on top of the underlying offense that led to the court date in the first place. Failing to appear in court can happen for any number of reasons, from confusion about the court date, to logistical problems such as transportation issues, to deliberately skipping out. If you’ve been accused of bail jumping, it’s important to act quickly to avoid compounding your issues.
The New York criminal defense lawyer at Dupée & Monroe can help you make things right with the court and avoid unnecessary consequences after failing to appear. We understand that not every mistake needs to result in additional criminal charges, and we’re here to make sure the police, prosecutor, and court understand that as well. Give us a call if you believe you may have missed an appearance or learn there is a bench warrant out for your arrest. We’ll help you fight against bail jumping charges and protect your rights through your underlying criminal prosecution.
New York’s Failure to Appear Laws
When you’re arrested for a crime in New York, be it a misdemeanor or a felony, you are required by law to appear at all of your scheduled court dates. If you fail to appear, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest, authorizing any police officers who find you to arrest you on sight. New York law does, however, give defendants a 30-day grace period before they will be charged with criminal bail jumping.
If you still fail to show or otherwise make things right with the court after 30 days, you could face bail jumping charges. Bail jumping is a separate criminal offense, carrying its own consequences on top of the punishments for the underlying crime. A seasoned New York criminal defense attorney can help you avoid the worst possible consequences of failing to appear.
The crime of bail jumping varies in severity depending upon the nature of the underlying charges:
- Failing to Respond to an Appearance Ticket. If you fail to appear in court after receiving a ticket to appear in court, you can be charged with this offense. Failure to Respond to an Appearance Ticket is a violation, punishable by up to fifteen days in jail.
- Bail Jumping in the Third Degree. You can be charged with third-degree bail jumping if you fail to appear after being released from custody for any criminal charge. Third-degree bail jumping is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Bail Jumping in the Second Degree. If you miss a court date while released from custody pending trial for felony charges, you could be charged with second-degree bail jumping. Second-degree bail jumping is a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Bail Jumping in the First Degree. If you miss a court date connected to a Class A or B felony charge, you can be charged with first-degree bail jumping. First-degree bail jumping is a Class D non-violent felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Defending Against Failure to Appear Charges
Ideally, you’ll learn about the failure to appear before being charged with a violation or criminal offense and resolve the issue within 30 days. A knowledgeable New York bail jumping lawyer can help you find relief from the court before facing unnecessary charges.
If the 30 days have passed, you can still defend against failure to appear/bail jumping charges by demonstrating that your failure to appear resulted from circumstances beyond your control. Reasonable defenses to failure to appear include understandable excuses such as a motor vehicle accident, being stuck outside the country, hospitalization or illness, a death in the family, or some other event beyond your control that prevented you from appearing on your scheduled court date or in the 30 days following.
Call for Help After a New York Failure to Appear or Bail Jumping Charge
If you are facing possible bail jumping or failure to appear charges in New York, or if you learn there is a warrant out for your arrest, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C., in Goshen. We represent clients charged with bail jumping and other serious offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.