Virginia Failure to Appear
When a person receives a summons to appear in court, he or she must be certain to fulfill that responsibility. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a failure to appear can result in a judge issuing a warrant to arrest the person who failed to show up at the required date and time. Virginia considers a failure to appear to be a separate criminal offense from the underlying crime. Even for cases in which the underlying charges are dismissed or result in acquittal, the defendant faces the failure to appear charges. If you suspect or know outright that you missed a court date, contact an attorney at Jezic, Krum & Moyse LLC. immediately to take a proactive approach to resolving this dilemma. You must keep in mind that until you respond to the warrant, you may be arrested at any time.
In order to convict you of this charge, the prosecutor must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that you:
- Were charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, or
- Were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense and were awaiting sentencing, and
- You willfully failed to appear before the court.
If the underlying charge is a misdemeanor, you will face additional misdemeanor charges; if the underlying charge is a felony, you will face additional felony charges.
A skilled, aggressive and experienced Virginia failure to appear lawyer will help defend you against these charges. In some cases, the Virginia courts and judges will agree to clear the warrant if you missed the court date due to a mistake, or if you live a significant distance and could not travel back. Each case will be analyzed based upon the specific circumstances; however, a competent Fairfax County failure to return lawyer from Jezic, Krum & Moyse LLC. will present the best defense possible to secure a dismissal, reduced charges or the lightest sentence possible.
Outstanding arrest warrants in Virginia have no expiration date. In the digital age, law enforcement agencies are becoming very efficient at connecting data between computer databases. You could be arrested in Hawaii for a simple traffic violation because an old arrest warrant from Virginia shows up on their reports.
In addition, law enforcement agencies have deployed sophisticated technology such as license plate scanners in police cruisers across the country. Your license plate could be scanned, linked up between a criminal database and the DMV – and flagged. You could be arrested in minutes even while driving down a street legally. The technology used by law enforcement is becoming increasingly sophisticated and efficient, making it more unlikely that you can avoid a warrant.
It is possible to be proactive, address the problem and secure the best possible outcome from an uncomfortable situation. Retaining a Fairfax County failure to appear lawyer before you are arrested will give you the best leverage possible to deal with the dilemma. If you have an aging case of failure to appear or criminal arrest warrants, you stand a far greater chance of getting the warrant lifted and the case dismissed (or charges reduced) if you act now rather than do nothing. With the passage of time evidence or witnesses may no longer be available, or the prosecutor may not be able to prove a case against you anymore. However, the warrant remains until you take action to clear it up. Contact a Virginia criminal lawyer from Jezic, Krum & Moyse immediately to protect your rights.
Are Virginia Failure to Appear Warrants Online?
Currently, most failure to appear and other outstanding warrants do not appear in public databases. However, with databases being integrated across multiple platforms, that may change in the future.
If you are wanted by a court of law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you should take action quickly to resolve the issue. Let a criminal defense attorney from Jezic, Krum & Moyse handle your case and work to clear your legal record. We can assist in the effort to remove the threat of arrest that haunts your daily life. We represent clients both in and out of state with such matters before the courts in Virginia.
If law enforcement questions you about any involvement in a crime, charges you with a felony or misdemeanor offense, or arrests you on a criminal complaint, you have a Constitutional right to have an attorney. Prior to answering questions or providing any statements to law enforcement, contact Clifford Clapp at Jezic & Moyse, LLC., so that he can advise you immediately on how to protect your rights. Through diligence, experience and integrity, he will seek every option to resolve your case via acquittal, dismissal, reduced charges – or the lightest sentence.