When the police arrest you for committing an offense, you can secure your freedom from jail with pretrial conditions. Usually, you could secure your release by posting bail. You could also secure your release from custody on your own recognizance. The court could impose certain conditions for pretrial release from custody, whether bail is required or not. The conditions often include a pledge to attend any proceedings associated with your charges. However, if the judge orders you to appear in court for a hearing or other legal proceeding and you fail to appear, the judge could issue a bench warrant for your arrest. In addition, the judge could charge you with failure to appear for the hearing. The Bail Bonds Company can assist you if you are facing an FTA warrant of arrest.
Failure To Appear
Most arrestees convicted of criminal offenses and released on bail always commit to attending court hearings for their crimes. You could face Failure to Appear charges if you do not honor these court-scheduled proceedings. The judge could add the new charge to any other charge you could be facing. Therefore, you must attend all the court hearings if you are charged with any crime to avoid being convicted of Failure to Appear.
The judge could require bail if you are arrested for failure to appear before you can secure your release from jail. Generally, the bail for failure to appear will constitute a fine for failure to appear, plus all the fines and possible penalties associated with the original conviction. When these expenses are added together, they could exceed your capability to pay, which is when a bail bondsman comes in to help you. Your bondsman will post bail with the court, allowing you to secure release from jail even after the court serves you with a failure to appear warrant. In return, you will pay a bail bond premium to the bail bondsman. Usually, the fee for failure to appear is 10% of the entire bail amount.
Failure To Appear Warrant
When convicted of an offense, you can post bail and secure your release from jail as you work through the court trial. You must adhere to specific terms during this pretrial release period. One of the terms includes ensuring you attend any court hearing related to your charges. If you have an FTA warrant and the police arrest you, you must be taken to court to explain why you failed to appear.
If you have an FTA warrant, you will only secure your release after posting bail for failure to appear and bail for the initial conviction you had already been released for. This could be significant since bail often ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars based on your charges. If you cannot meet the cash bail cost, you can engage a bondsman to post bail on your behalf.
Penalties for Failure to Appear Warrant
You could face three possible penalties for a Failure to Appear conviction, depending on the offense you were initially accused of. For example, a misdemeanor charge whereby you are released on your own recognizance could attract the following penalties:
- A fine that does not exceed $1,000.
- A jail term that does not exceed six months in a county jail.
A felony charge whereby you are released on your own recognizance could attract the following penalties:
- A fine that does not exceed $5,000.
- A jail term that does not exceed one year in a county jail, or
- A jail term that does not exceed three years in state prison.
Cost Of Bail For Failure To Appear
The bail for failing to appear in court is costly. It could cost you $10,000 bail if you were released on bail before you and failed to appear in court. Other repercussions of failing to appear in court include an additional jail term. The judge could order you to post the entire bail amount if you are arrested for an FTA. The bail could cater to the original conviction and the Failure to Appear conviction.
The amount for bail could vary depending on some circumstances, including:
- Whether the case falls under a misdemeanor or a felony.
- The severity of the case.
The common misdemeanor convictions, statute violations, and their applicable bail amounts are:
- Interfering with emergency personnel, Penal Code 148.2, you could pay $5,000.
- For assault against a peace officer, Penal Code 241, you could pay $10,000 bail.
- Violation of a protective order Penal Code 273.65, you could pay $10,000.
- Failing to register as a sex offender under PC 290 could pay $10,000.
- Possession of underage obscenity Penal Code 311.11(a), you could pay $10,000.
- Indecent exposure under PC 314, you could pay $5,000.
- Exhibiting a firearm Penal Code 417(a)(2), you could pay $10,000.
- Violation of probation Penal Code 1203.2 you could pay $5,000.
- Carrying a concealed firearm Penal Code 12025(b)(7), you could pay $5,000.
- DUI drugs or alcohol Penal Code 23152(a) you could pay $5,000.
The common felony convictions, statute violations, and applicable bail are:
- Hate offense Penal Code 422.75(a) you could pay $20,000.
- For theft over $100,000, Penal Code 1203.045, you could pay $50,000.
- Inducing a minor to commit a drug crime HS11343.2(a)(1), you could pay $10,000.
- Commission of drug crime near school HS 11353.6(b) you could pay $40,000.
- Drug crime involving a minor four years or younger HS 11353.6(c) you could pay $40,000.
- Commission of drug crime involving PCP HS11370.4(a)(2), you could pay $30,000.
- Using a minor to commit a drug crime HS 11380.1(a)(1), you could pay $20,000.
- Carrying a firearm during the commission of an offense Penal Code 12021.5(b), you could pay $20,000 to $30,000.
- Discharging a firearm in the commission of a felony Penal Code 12022.53(c), you could pay $200,000.
The bail amount, whether for a misdemeanor or a felony, can be costly. For you to secure your release after your arrest for failure to appear, the court will add the fine to the bail you were required to post for the original conviction that caused the initial FTA. If you undergo this process, bail can be more than you can afford, so you must make the court appearances, whatever the situation.
A Bench Warrant
Also known as an arrest warrant, the judge usually issues a bench warrant. There are several reasons why the judge could order a bench warrant, including:
- A grand jury’s indictment.
- Failing to adhere to the terms of bail.
- Failing to comply with the terms of probation or parole.
- Failing to pay a fine or ticket.
- Failing to attend the court hearings.
Defenses For FTA Charges
Some of the defenses you could present to contest your FTA charges could include the following:
You Were Not Aware
The prosecutor usually considers some critical elements of the failure to appear, including whether you knew you were supposed to appear in court, your willfulness, and your intent to escape. The jury or the judge can take several actions if you fail to appear. For example, you could be unaware of the court dates, or perhaps other circumstances prevented you from making it to court.
Proving that you did not receive a notification for a hearing is a readily acceptable excuse for failing to appear. However, the prosecutor cannot prove that you willfully or intentionally attempted to skip your court date in this case. Usually, the prosecutor should notify you about the date of your hearing. This will be ample proof if you acted responsibly after your release and did your best to make things right with the court.
Court Staff’s Fault
Maybe you did not willfully fail to appear, yet you were charged as if you intentionally failed to appear due to a lack of understanding or misinformation. For example, the court dates could have been mixed up, or the staff could have misspelled names. Perhaps you appeared in court, but you were never called. You should secure evidence of your appearance before leaving the court, even if told to leave. When you meet the court clerk, you must request any documentation you were present before leaving the court. You can use this evidence to prove that you did not fail to appear, and even if you did not, you could claim that it was not willful.
Similarly, if you secure your release on your own recognizance and did not sign a deal to attend the court hearings, this could lead to the dismissal of your charges. You must create a convincing defense if the prosecutor accuses you of a Failure to Appear in court. A skilled defense attorney can also assist you in proving your defense.
Find a Bail Bondsman Near Me
Being arrested for failure to appear in court can be stressful and overwhelming. You need a professional bondsman to help you secure your release from custody. For many years, the Bail Bonds Company has assisted people arrested for failure to appear to secure a fast release from jail. Contact us at 323-579-1415 to speak to our bondsmen to learn more about our affordable bail bond services.