Your problems don’t go away if you don’t show up in court. Failure to appear (FTA) charges have severe penalties. Luckily, an experienced Arkansas failure to appear lawyer can help you clear up legal issues and deal with problems the right way so you can get back to your life.
The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas LLP has the drive and determination you deserve and the experience you need. Schedule your initial consultation online or call 479-316-3760 to discuss your options.
What is Failure to Appear?
When you have a scheduled court date and do not show up, this is known as failure to appear or FTA. Failure to appear generally results in a warrant for your arrest. It also can lead to your driver’s license being suspended.
When You Could Be Arrested
The court may issue an arrest warrant if you fail to appear:
- For a citation
- As a condition for bail
- Any court-ordered appearance, hearing, or trial
If you encounter police at any point after a bench warrant has been issued, they are required to detain and arrest you under the law.
Penalties for Failure to Appear in Arkansas
Arkansas punishes individuals for failure to appear based on the level and severity of their original crime.
For example, you’ll likely face misdemeanor charges if you were ordered to appear in court for a misdemeanor crime. If convicted, you could spend up to one year in jail. You might have to pay fines of up to $2,500 in addition to whatever penalties you’ll face for your original charges if convicted.
Likewise, if you face felony charges already, you could be charged with felony FTA. If convicted, you could spend up to 10 years in prison with fines as high as $10,000.
Additional Consequences for FTA
There are other consequences for FTP, including:
- Probation requirements
- Parole requirements
- Community service
- Loss of firearm rights
- Child custody or visitation troubles
- Difficulty finding a job
- Trouble finding affordable housing
- Immigration or citizenship issues
With penalties this severe, defending yourself is critical. A lawyer can help you figure out how to avoid a devastating FTA guilty verdict.
How a Failure to Appear Attorney Helps
You could avoid the penalty for FTA with the help of an experienced Arkansas attorney. If you can prove a logical reason for your failure to appear, the court may waive punishment. Still, your lawyer will need to present evidence to the court that shows your failure to appear was utterly unavoidable.
Some reasonable excuses for failure to appear could include:
- Medical illness
- Serious injury
- Sudden death in the family
- A car accident
- A new arrest
- Vehicle troubles
The court will require documentation of your unavoidable reason for FTA, such as a note from your doctor. Not receiving a notice to appear is not considered a justifiable defense, and your attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence to obtain an acquittal, should you have a justifiable defense.
Arkansas Failure to Appear FAQ
Dealing with failure to appear charges on top of your other legal troubles can be overwhelming, and you probably have many unanswered questions with no idea of where to turn for help. Our quick FAQ is a great place to start.
If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Do I Need an Attorney for Failure to Appear in Arkansas?
A criminal defense lawyer understands the court process and can work with the prosecutor to potentially help you avoid punishment. Your freedom is on the line, and public defenders often have enormous caseloads and are frequently overworked.
You deserve an attorney who represents your best interests and aggressively fights to defend you.
Is Failure to Appear a Felony in Arkansas?
Felony charges may apply to failure to appear in the state of Arkansas, but in some cases, it is a misdemeanor. If you aren’t sure whether you’re facing felony or misdemeanor FTA charges, contact an FTA lawyer from The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas LLP.
What Are FTA & FTP Suspension Notices?
In addition to failure to appear, failure to pay charges is also taken very seriously by the state. The state can order your license to be suspended or revoked for FTA or FTP, and continuing to drive with a revoked license racks up even further penalties. The best thing you can do for yourself is to have an attorney on your side to address and resolve your charges.
Contact a Failure to Appear Lawyer in Arkansas Today
Penalties for failure to appear are often severe. A dedicated Arkansas FTA lawyer could clear the matter up without consequence by finding out the severity of the charges against you and working on your behalf to provide a defense.
Schedule your no-risk case review with The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas LLP when you call 479-316-3760. Or fill out our online contact form, and we'll reach out to discuss the specific details of your case.