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Pennsylvania Failure to Appear Lawyer
When you are required to attend a court hearing or conference and you do not attend, a bench warrant could be issued for your arrest. A bench warrant means you could be taken into police custody at any time and held in jail. There are serious consequences associated with not coming to court as required. A Pennsylvania failure to appear lawyer or bench warrant lawyer can provide you with representation and advice so you can work toward amending your legal problems.
Pennsylvania Laws on Failure to Appear
Pennsylvania Code Rule 1910.13-1 explains the consequences of a failure to appear. According to this rule, a bench warrant can be issued for your arrest if:
- You fail to appear at a conference.
- You fail to appear at a hearing.
- You otherwise fail to appear in response to a court order.
There must be proof that you actually were aware of your obligations to appear before a bench warrant is issued. This proof can come in the form of an affidavit from a hearing or conference officer indicating that any one of the following is true:
- The court order instructing you to appear was served by ordinary mail with a return address and the post office or electronic tracking has confirmed the mail was delivered to your address. The mailing must have contained a return address and must not have been returned.
- A receipt was signed indicating that the court order had been accepted.
- Any court employee handed you a copy of the order to appear.
- Any competent adult handed a copy of the order to appear to the party and the competent adult filed an affidavit of service.
Your Pennsylvania failure to appear lawyer can explain more about how these types of evidence can be used to determine guilt, as well as how you may defend yourself by drawing doubt as to their veracity.
If a bench warrant is issued, you face arrest at any time. If you are pulled over and a law enforcement officer run your name through the computer, the arrest warrant will show up and you will be taken into custody. A bench warrant hearing must be conducted within 72 hours, but you could be detained for this entire time while waiting for a hearing.
How a Pennsylvania Failure to Appear Lawyer Can Help
You do not want to be taken into police custody and potentially held for days until a hearing to resolve your bench warrant has been heard. The best option you have is to always appear in court as required in order to avoid a bench warrant being issued for you. However, if you have missed a court proceeding, a Pennsylvania failure to appear attorney can provide you with important assistance.
Your attorney can determine if a bench warrant has been issued due to missing a court date. Your lawyer may sometimes be able to get the judge to lift the warrant if you agree to come to court in a timely manner. Your Pennsylvania failure to appear attorney could also argue that you did not have notice and were unaware of the required court date, or could help you to consider other possible defenses to not showing up in court. Contact a Pennsylvania failure to appear lawyer today to learn more about your legal options and about how an attorney can help you.