One of the most frustrating parts of being charged with a crime is being denied bond release while awaiting court proceedings. Florida court dockets are indeed full, and the actual court date following arraignment is usually a significant amount of time later. While the court is required to evaluate the possibility of bond release, it still has the authority to set the release conditions. And the primary consideration is the possibility that the defendant will not appear in court. Judges understand this problem well, and qualifying for release is not always easy. And when a court date is missed, there can be severe consequences.
Failure to appear
Failure to appear can have different results based on the type of hearing that is missed. Failure to appear at the first hearing is actually contempt of court that will be applied when law enforcement officers serve the arrest warrant, which always happens in felony cases. This is essentially an additional charge that can carry incarceration penalties until the next court date or beyond.
Some judges are not as strict regarding missing a court hearing on secondary appointments. Usually, when the defendant has an attorney, the attorney can sometimes appear in the defendant’s stead. It is always best to be present at subsequent adjudication hearings as well as the discovery hearing because it shows the judges a willingness to comply with court orders. This especially applies with felonies, as they are the most serious of all court prosecutions.
Also remember that those who fail to appear at a civil matters hearing are also automatically guilty of contempt of court. This means that judges have the authority to charge and hold non-compliant defendants following an apprehension for FTA. Regardless of any legal matter, willfully missing court is not an option for all under individuals under an appearance order.