Whether you are charged with a crime or you are issued a traffic ticket, you may be ordered to appear in court. Depending on the specific charges, you may have to appear in court several times throughout the criminal case, including an arraignment, a pre-trial conference, a hearing, a trial and a sentencing.

If you have received a summons or a notice to appear, you have received a court order. Failure to appear is a violation of a court order and could result in serious consequences, which could include:

  • A Bench Warrant. If you fail to appear in court, a judge may find you in contempt of court. If you are found guilty of contempt, a bench warrant for your arrest may be issued, which means that you will be taken into custody as soon as possible.
  • Bail Bond Revocation. If you have been arrested and have posted bail so that you can get out of jail, a judge could revoke your bond if you missed your court date. The person who co-signed the bond will be responsible for making the payment and your right to be released from prison could be revoked until the completion of your trial.
  • Criminal Charges. Contempt of course is considered a criminal charge which carries its own set of penalties, and those penalties may be added to any other penalties that have been issued for the original crime.
  • More Extreme Sentencing. When a judge sentences you for your initial crime, his or she will take several factors into consideration, and those factors will affect your sentencing. Not appearing in court shows that you lack remorse for the crime that you committed, which could result in the judge issuing a harsher punishment.

The idea of going to court and appearing before a judge can be frightening; however, skipping your court date won’t change the situation, and in fact, will make matters worse. If you have been charged with a crime, no matter how minor or severe, in the state of Florida, instead of skipping court, contact a Broward criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

An experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer will fully assess your case and provide you with the legal counsel that you need during this difficult time. Your attorney will assist you with and prepare you for going to court and appearing before a judge. You will receive sound advice and you will have greater confidence making your appearance, which will make you less inclined to skip your court date.

Whether you were charged with a misdemeanor or a felony in Florida, contact a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale is certainly in your best interest. Don’t risk having to suffer bigger consequences, including larger fines, a longer sentence and permanent damage to your record. When it comes to a criminal charge, a criminal defense attorney will have your best interest in mind and will give you the help that is needed to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.