The penalties for failure to appear in California depend on the type of crime you were initially charged with or convicted of.
If you are charged with or convicted of a California misdemeanor and released on your own recognizance, then failure to appear is a misdemeanor. The penalties include up to six (6) months in county jail, and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).
But if you are either:
- Charged with or convicted of a felony, and released on your own recognizance, OR
- Charged with or convicted of a felony, and released on bail, then failure to appear will be a felony in California law.
Potential penalties include:
- a fine of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) if you were released on your own recognizance, or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) if you were released on bail,
- a county jail sentence of up to one (1) year, and/or
- a prison sentence of sixteen (16) months or two (2) or three (3) years.
In any of these cases, a judge will issue a California bench warrant for your arrest on failure to appear charges.
How can we defend you against charges of Failure to Appear California Penal Code 1320 & 1320.5 PC Failure to Appear?
Failing to appear may seem like a pretty straightforward crime. But in fact there are several legal defenses you can use to fight these charges.
- You did not willfully fail to appear when you were required to do so;
- You did not have the required specific intent (to evade the process of the court);and
- You did not sign an agreement when you were released on your own recognizance.