Can you really get arrested in Connecticut for failing to appear in court for your speeding or cell phone ticket? Absolutely. In fact, as any of the best Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys will tell you, there are several Connecticut misdemeanor crimes that can get you arrested for failing to appear in court for your Connecticut Speeding, Cell Phone, or Marijuana tickets, or your Connecticut misdemeanor or felony cases.
But what if you have a good excuse or explanation for failing to appear in any of the Stamford, Bridgeport, Norwalk or Danbury criminal courts? Top Connecticut Failure to Appear arrest criminal lawyers know that sometimes unforeseen circumstances like a medical issue, child care or family emergency, death in the family, car accident, or even Connecticut’s signature traffic jams can prevent you from getting to court.
So can anything be done to get your Connecticut Failure to Appear arrest dismissed without having a criminal record? Absolutely. Here’s how to make your Failure to Appear case disappear…
The Connecticut Crimes of Failure to Appear in Court, First & Second Degrees
The crime of Failure to Appear in Connecticut is often referred to in court as an “FTA.” And as the top Darien, Greenwich and Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers can explain, the crime of Failure to Appear is when you willfully fail to appear in Superior Court for your pending criminal or infraction charge. The degree of the FTA arrest in Connecticut simply depends on your underlying court case—if it’s a felony, then it’s a First Degree Failure to Appear / FTA; if the original charge is a misdemeanor, then it’s a FTA Second Degree Arrest. Failure to Appear in the Second Agree arrests in Connecticut under CGS 53a-173 is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail, a $2000 fine, and probation. Failure to Appear in the First Degree is a Class D felony, carrying a maximum jail sentence of 5 years, $5000 fine and probation. Follow this link for a more in-depth discussion of Connecticut Failure to Appear arrests and how to get your Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury or Bridgeport Connecticut Failure to Appear arrest warrant dismissed as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. With the stakes so high, it’s always a good idea to consult a top Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut Failure to Appear criminal lawyer attorney to discuss your defense options.
Sometimes You Get One Chance to Miss Court in Connecticut and Are Issued a “BCL” or Bail Commissioner’s Letter
When you are arrested for a misdemeanor or felony crime in the Connecticut courts, or when you are required to appear in Connecticut traffic infraction court to fight your Stamford, Greenwich, Darien or other Connecticut speeding, cell phone or marijuana infraction ticket, then you must appear in court by 10am on your court date. If you are not in court when they call your case, then sometimes, but not always, the judge will order the Bail Commissioner to send you a warning letter in Connecticut called a “Bail Commissioner’s Letter” or “BCL” that informs you of your next court date and warns you that if you do not show up for this next court date, then a Connecticut arrest warrant will be issued against you for Failure to Appear in court, and that your bail and bond will be forfeited (click here for more information on Bail and Bonds in Connecticut criminal cases). The best Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers know, however, that BCLs are not always issued, and sometimes a judge will order you re-arrested without first sending you a BCL / Bail Commissioner’s Letter. This depends on your criminal record, the amount of your bond, the seriousness of your Connecticut criminal arrest, any prior warnings from the judge, the victim-complainant’s position, or other circumstances. So if you get a Bail Commissioner’s Letter in the mail for your Connecticut criminal arrest, and you do not already have a top Connecticut criminal lawyer assisting you with your case, then it would be a good idea to contact a top Danbury or Ridgefield Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney to make sure you do not get arrested for Failure to Appear in any of the Danbury, Norwalk, Stamford or Bridgeport Connecticut criminal courts.
Failing to Pay or Plead to Speeding, Cell Phone, or Marijuana Infraction Tickets
Top Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers frequently see their client either blow off their Connecticut speeding, cell phone, or marijuana possession tickets, or alternatively, they accidentally forget to pay them. With everyone’s busy schedules, and increasing reliance on email (as well as the increasing volume of junk snail mail), it may be easy to overlook a BCL warning letter from the State of Connecticut sent via regular mail. These are the typical scenarios when the best Stamford, Darien, New Canaan and Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers hear from their clients that an arrest warrant for failure to pay or plead under CGS 51-164r has been looming in the judicial system for years. (Sometimes it is entered in the system as a 53a-173 Failure to Appear, Second Degree arrest warrant). The Failure to Pay or Plead Infraction arrest in Connecticut is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 3 months in jail and a $500 fine, and should be taken seriously. So if you are going to be arrested by warrant in Connecticut for Failure to Pay an Infraction, contact a top Connecticut traffic infraction / criminal lawyer.
Once an FTA Warrant is Issued, Is There Any Way to Avoid Getting Arrested for Failure to Appear in Connecticut?
Yes. Top Connecticut criminal lawyers know how devastating any arrest in Connecticut can be to your professional reputation. Not only might your name and photo be plastered all over the internet, but your arrest in Connecticut for Failure to Appear in Court will show up on every employment background check. There’s hope, however—as the Connecticut courts have recently been more sympathetic to leniency arguments that have persuaded the court to “vacate” or “reverse” some Connecticut arrest warrants for failure to appear. It is not automatic by any means, and requires a bit of legal finesse, coupled with compelling constitutional arguments, but could save you a lot of time, hassle and anxiety if your top Connecticut criminal lawyer can get your Failure to Appear arrest warrant vacated and dismissed. Be sure to discuss this option when you consult with your Connecticut Failure to Appear criminal lawyer.
Contact a Connecticut Failure to Appear Criminal Lawyer at Mark Sherman Law Today
So if you have recently learned that you have an arrest warrant in Connecticut for Failure to Appear or Failure to Pay a Speeding, Cell Phone, or Infraction Ticket, then contact a Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney at Mark Sherman Law today. We will take a close look at your case, and provide you with an honest assessment of the chances of getting your Failure to Appear in the Second Degree arrest vacated or dismissed. Our goal is getting you best results possible, as cost-effectively as possible. So call us today at (203) 358-4700 to get the process started.