Eighteen-year-old, Adonis Lewis, was arrested last summer on the following charges:
Now according to reports out of DeKalb County, Lewis was again arrested for failing to show up to court for his arraignment in March.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline what happens when a person misses their court date in Georgia in today's post.
What happens when a person misses their court date in Georgia?
The criminal offense is outline in O.C.G.A. §40-13-63 as failure to appear in Georgia as:
The willful failure of any person to appear in accordance with the written promise contained on the citation and complaint and served upon such person shall constitute an offense which shall be punishable by a fine in an amount not to exceed $200.00 or by confinement in jail for a period not to exceed three days.
As you can see from the law, the consequences are a fine and jail time. Although these penalties may not seem to be major consequences, this tacked onto the original offense will cause problems for an individual.
Georgia Bench Warrants will also be issued by a judge when a person fails to appear. Bench warrants differ from arrest warrants because they do not usually come with the police knocking on your door. Instead, your name goes into a statewide computer system that law enforcement uses. If you are stopped for a traffic violation or any other reason, the officer will be able to see the warrant, and you will be taken into custody. Getting arrested on a bench warrant means that you will likely be incarcerated until your court date or until you can post bail. However, you could also be imprisoned without bail.
If you or a loved one has missed a court date in Georgia and a bench warrant is issued, it is best to handle the warrant directly. This is where we come in. Hiring a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can change the results in your case. We will take an active approach to resolve your case with the court and make sure your rights are protected. After the bench warrant issue is resolved, then we can start working on your case.
If you missed court when it was for a ticket that could have been paid, we are successful at resolving it without your active participation. We can work to resolve the failure to appear by either getting the case rescheduled for a different day or settling the case outside of court.
FTAs for more serious charges are not as easily resolved. However, the FTA can still be handled. We frequently handle FTA cases and are prepared to help you resolve your missed court appearance as well as obtain an excellent outcome for the original offense.