According to the Code of Virginia “whoever…willfully fails to appear before any court or judicial officer as required, shall, after notice to all interested parties, incur a forfeiture of any security which may have been given or pledged for his or her release, unless one of the parties can show good cause for excusing the absence, or unless the court, in its sound discretion, shall determine that neither the interests of justice nor the power of the court to conduct orderly proceedings will be served by such forfeiture.
More specifically, any person (i) charged with a felony offense or (ii) convicted of a felony offense and execution of sentence is suspended who willfully fails to appear before any court as required shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.
Also, any person (i) charged with a misdemeanor offense or (ii) convicted of a misdemeanor offense and execution of sentence who willfully fails to appear before any court shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Many issues can arise with failure to appear charges in court.
First, if a judge charges you with failing to appear in court, the judge will issue a bench warrant (often called a capias) and order that your bond be revoked. You will need to turn yourself in on this outstanding warrant before an attorney can represent you on it in court and provide an explanation for missing the court date.
In addition, a failure to appear charge or conviction may have an especially significant impact on future criminal cases as magistrates and judges must consider any history of failing to appear in making a determination about releasing a person on bond prior to a court hearing.
If you are charged with failure to appear in the Seven Cities, be sure to call LeCruise Law before your court date to schedule a complimentary consultation.