If you miss a court date you could be facing additional criminal charges. This prospect is likely causing you some serious stress and worry, and now there is probably an outstanding criminal warrant for your arrest.
When you fail to show for this court date you may be reluctant to return, out of fear or confusion about what may happen to you in court.
There may have been important reasons why you missed you court date. Maybe you are from out of state, or out of the country, and couldn’t get back, or needed to travel for work.
But it is something you need to deal with before the problem catches up with you, and your options are limited.
Will I be caught by the police on a failure to appear in court?
Eventually, yes, most likely. Even if it is years later, your name and driver’s license could be flagged as a fugitive. The technology to find people gets easier all the time, and more and more law enforcement databases are being shared, across different agencies and state lines.
And if you are hoping that the statute of limitations will run out, unfortunately it won’t. If you are considered an active fugitive, then a statute of limitations does not apply.
But you do have options, and is is possible we may be able to fix this easily. Please contact out attorneys to get a free consultation on exactly how we can help.
Failure to Appear in MN – Laws & Penalties
Minnesota has fairly tough laws regarding failure to appear in court. Your possible prison sentence for this charge could be several years. This is no time to entrust your case with an inexperienced or unskilled attorney.
The charges you face for failure to appear depend on the criminal case you failed to appear on. For instance, if your court date was in regards to a felony charge, your failure to appear case will carry a heftier sentence than if it was a misdemeanor criminal charge.
Felony Criminal Cases – Failure to Appear
If you failed to appear on a felony charge, the judge can sentence you to an additional one-half of the maximum prison term and fine for the crime that you failed to appear for.
This means if you are facing a felony charge that carries a potential 20 year sentence and you fail to appear, your failure to appear charge will carry a potential sentence of 10 years.
Also, if you fail to appear on a felony charge, you will serve no less than one year and one day as well as a fine of $1,500 for the failure to appear. This is what is referred to as a mandatory minimum; the judge cannot sentence you to any less than one year and one day for a felony failure to appear.
Misdemeanor Criminal Cases – Failure to Appear
If you fail to appear on a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor case, you will be charged with misdemeanor failure to appear. This charge carries a potential sentence of up to 90 days in jail and fines reaching $1,000.
Ref: Minnesota Statute §609.49
What is Bail Forfeiture ?
It is important to remember that if you posted bail for your release and then fail to appear, you automatically forfeit your bail. This means that the money you posted is no longer yours and will not be returned to you after the criminal case has ended.
Missed a Court Date? Free Consultation on Failure to Appear and Criminal Charges in MN
When you miss a court date it is tempting to ignore it and try to move on. The problem with this is your criminal charges will not just disappear. There is most likely criminal warrant out for your arrest, and you can be caught and jailed at anytime. And it is probably just a matter of time before it happens.
The longer you wait to deal with the ramifications, the worse off you will be. And the quicker you act, before you are found, the more options you have to fix the problem with minimal penalties.
We may be able to help fix the problem with the courts without you even needing to show up.
If you failed to appear and are unsure of what to do next, call us. We will discuss your case with you and help you decide the best course of action. We’ll tell you exactly what we can do to fix your court problem, so call today for a free consultation.