How much trouble am I facing if I had a Misdemeanor Ticket and Failure to Appear? 40 Answers as of May 28, 2013

I received a ticket when I was 19 for minor consumption, and I went to court without a lawyer and was suppose to pay a fine and take an alcohol class. It's the first time I've ever been in trouble. Turns out I didn't do everything right and they filed another hearing on me, I never received anything about the court date, so they filed a warrant. Nearly 2 years later I got pulled and went to jail on Failure to Appear and bonded out. Should I try to get a lawyer now? How much trouble am I facing?

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Anderson Law Office
Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
Yes you should get an attorney. With good representation it shouldn't be that bad.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/28/2013
Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
You made need legal counsel. It is possible that in addition to the misdemeanor fine, you may face additional penalties for failure to appear.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 9/12/2012
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
I strongly recommend you seek to retain counsel. You have a failure to appear, a failure to complete the court ordered program, and you would likely be facing some substantial jail time.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/11/2012
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
Yes get a lawyer asap and try to consolidate the two issues to avoid a much longer suspension.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 9/5/2012
Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
Even if you are over 21 now, you may be in violation of conditions imposed by the court that could involve a probation revocation and jail time or risk being held in contempt of court if you were not on probation. That can still get you tossed in jail. You might want to talk to a lawyer on this one.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/5/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You were not very responsible and did not do what the court told you to do. If you had retained a lawyer he would have made sure that you were doing everything the court required, paid your fines, and made your court dates. Lawyers know that young people are not good at making court appearances or paying fines so they write you letters, call you, and check on it. That prevents you from violating the courts sentence and getting a criminal conviction, bench warrant, or jail time. You should retain a good criminal lawyer and let him handle the case. In the future get a diary or calendar that lets you know what you have to do every day so that you do not have to rely on your memory. You will not go to jail if you pay the fine and avoid getting arrested in the future. Study the law so that you fully understand what is illegal and you will have a better chance of not getting arrested in the future.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You will still need to face the judge about the original charge, so there may be jail time and or fines applicable.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
    Yes a failure to appear is not a good thing. It automatically causes a warrant to be issued. It would be advisable for you to get an attorney to try and work this out for you to make sure you take care of it this time. If your case is in the Tampa Bay area and you would like a further consultation, please contact me at the email address or phone number associated with this response.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. You need a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    It never looks good that you ignore the court. It all depends on the court. Do not make up excuses. Admit you ignored the court and sincerely apologize. It never hurts having a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    To handle a warrant, you must turn yourself in to the issuing court, with or without an attorney. You'll try to negotiate a recall of the warrant[s] and negotiate a plea bargain on the Failure to Appear charge. On misdemeanors and infractions, your attorney can appear in court without the defendant being present. While this isn't a 'capital case', you face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail, and may enable you to get your probation and programs reinstated. Unless you're competent to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor trying to put you in jail, most people hire an attorney who can. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    I strongly suggest that you contact an experienced criminal law attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your case. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your case and advise you of your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You are in sufficient trouble where the court is issuing warrants for your failure to appear in court. I strongly suggest hiring counsel to represent you in court, as the charge might carry a jail term, especially if you failed to perform the alcohol classes and pay the fines.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    Yes. You could be facing more jail. Get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Oh yes, you should hire a lawyer ASAP. A MIP charge will cause your license to be suspended for 1 year. Right now the case is still open, so there is still a chance that a lawyer can talk the Judge into dismissing the charge, provided that you really earn it this time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I cannot opine on the facts presented except to state that you are obviously in need of counsel. Courts do not take kindly to being ignored and they do have means of getting your attention. I believe you should seek counsel immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Up to a year and a fine. The 1st Thing to do is get a great lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Yes, you are facing trouble and should get a lawyer. The warrant is serious as you have realized. Better to have a lawyer to assist you. You are definitely looking at license revocation and possible further jail time.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    No finish playing the game out without an attorney. So, the next time you get into trouble, you will get a lawyer from the start, because you will realize that it is serious. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    You need to hire an attorney. Fines could go be substantial with a Failure To Appear.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Yes you should hire an attorney to assist you. You do not want the same thing to happen now as what happened last time, which was that you were unsure what needed to be done and never completed the case. You are not in a great deal of trouble in that you should not have to go to jail for something like this, especially the underlying charge of Minor in possession of alcohol. The larger problem is your criminal record (CORI). In today's job market, and conviction becomes a problem for acquiring employment or even financial aid for education. You really want to try to resolve this in such a way as to not have a conviction or any type on your record. It may be too late for that, I am not sure, but it doesn't sound like it. Since the case was apparently never resolved, you may still get a disposition without a conviction. Only a lawyer will be able to explain this and help you navigate through the process to achieve it. There is no guarantee about the results, but a lawyer will almost always get a better outcome than you could get on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes and possibly quite a bit. Judges hate it when defendants don't follow their orders.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    If you plead guilty or were convicted of a misdemeanor charge and did not complete your punishment, you face up to one year in jail and $1000 fine. If you plead to a reduced charge of a violation, then you are facing 15 days in jail and $250 fine.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    I would suggest you consult an attorney before going to court.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You absolutely need counsel, you are in big trouble.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    The Rogers Law Firm
    The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
    You could go to court on your own and ask the judge to allow you additional time to complete all the requirements, but you'd better have a good explanation for why you disrespected the court by failing to do what the judge ordered you to do.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    Get a lawyer. You can get this cleared up but you need help to do it right.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    The State will present information to the court to prove that you violated your sentence. If you find a way to get into compliance (such as finishing classes, paying fines, etcetera) then do it immediately. If the judge runs out of patience, you will do jail time. Retain an attorney if feasible.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If you have a warrant, you must turn yourself in on the warrant to make an appearance in court. If you have a lawyer, occasionally, your attorney may have the warrant stated pending a new hearing date. It sounds as if there is a violation of probation. You must have your case reviewed by experienced counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/5/2012
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