Failure to Appear Laws in Maryland
When you have a trial date in a Maryland court of law, it’s imperative to follow the directions that accompany the notice carefully, and that includes showing up on time. Whether you’ve received a citation for speeding or were summoned for a different reason, missing your court date can lead to criminal consequences.
People may occasionally forget about appointments they make or experience emergencies that prevent them from showing up to their obligations on time; but when your obligation is to be present in a courtroom, the outcome can be much more distressing than for a doctor’s appointment. If you’ve missed a court date in Maryland, turn to an attorney who can help you explain your absence. The sooner you act, the better your chances are that the court will be lenient and understanding of your situation. Ignoring your failure to appear can make matters worse.
Attorney Hillel Traub of The Law Office of Hillel Traub has decades of experience helping clients resolve criminal and traffic matters in Baltimore and surrounding areas. Believe it or not, you may face a criminal charge for failing to appear in court. With our firm by your side, you can present a strong case and have a better chance of achieving a positive outcome.
Not showing up for court may not seem like a crime, but it is a serious violation in Maryland. If you fail to appear in court after you are summoned, the court issues a bench warrant for your arrest for failing to appear. A bench warrant is a legal document the judge issues that authorizes a police officer to arrest you.
Generally, the warrant stays in the system until you are stopped for a different offense, or some other matter catches law enforcement’s attention. Any police officer you engage with after the court issues a bench warrant may take you into custody, even at a traffic stop. You could be stopped for a minor traffic offense — that would typically result in a fine — and arrested if you have an active bench warrant.
The penalties you can face for failing to appear in court will be added to any penalties you may incur for any offenses that you were charged with before you failed to appear. A Failure to Appear charge will only compound your legal troubles.
It is also illegal to fail to appear in court for jury service after being summoned under Title 8 – Juries and Jurors — of the Maryland Code and Court Rules. A person who fails to appear for jury service under this title may face the following penalties:
- A jail sentence of up to 60 days
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Both of the above
The court may not know exactly why you failed to appear, but it is written that this is a serious criminal offense that could make your situation worse. When you work with a failure-to-appear lawyer, you can take measures to resolve your charge before matters escalate.
It is advised that you take action to explain your absence as soon as possible after a missed court date. With an attorney by your side, you can take prompt legal action to prevent the worst possible consequences. There are procedures your failure to appear attorney in Maryland can take to mitigate the penalties you might face if you’re convicted of failing to appear in court for a traffic offense.
Attorney Hillel Traub has served residents in Baltimore and nearby locations for more than 20 years advocating for their interests in complex legal matters. As a former Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland MVA, he can present a compelling argument on your behalf to help you avoid criminal consequences. Talk to Hillel today for free by calling (410) 580-1100 or complete our contact form.