Will my son have to enter a plea for the FTA? 5 Answers as of July 30, 2014

My son missed his court date by accident. He had to the wrong date written down. A bench warrant was issued. We paid the bond fee and he goes back for an arraignment on the FTA. What happens at this arraignment?

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Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Hopefully the judge will believe him and not hold him in contempt.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/30/2014
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. If you are charged with an offense and cannot afford to pay for your own defense, the court may appoint you an attorney payable at the public's expense. You have a right to counsel. Generally speaking, if a defendant in a pending criminal case fails to appear for a scheduled court-date, the court will review the alleged circumstances and determine whether they are in contempt of court. Bond and contempt-of-court issues are a separate but important part of the process. The burden of proof for contempt of court is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt; it's much lower, and the court has a lot of discretion. A person could be held in contempt for something related to the case but ultimately acquitted on the charges themselves. If the court determines the defendant was in contempt, the court could revoke the defendant's bond, order jail time, or sanction the defendant in other ways for contempt. They usually provide an opportunity to the accused to explain why they did not appear. Ultimately, it depends on the court and alleged circumstances. Sometimes, a person in that situation will have their bond re-instated with the warrant dismissed. Sometimes, the court defers any sanctions until the case is resolved. In other situations, the court may order jail time or revoke the bond when the person appears. Ultimately, it depends on the charge, court, and alleged circumstances. Your son should talk to his lawyer about the issue.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/29/2014
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
I would strongly suggest getting a lawyer involved before the arraignment. Sounds like he had a valid defense and a lawyer may be able to get the warrant quashed.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/28/2014
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
The judge will read the charge or charges, read him his rights. Bond will continue. The judge may ask how he wants to plead on the FTA. Although, the error was made there is no excuse considering he just got the date wrong. You did not mention what the underlying crime was. If criminal, he is entitled to court appointed attorney if cannot afford one.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/25/2014
Klisz Law Office, PLLC
Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
He gets the charges read and bond is revisited. Having a lawyer is vital since he already is looking bad by missing the first date. Find a local attorney and get them on board.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/25/2014
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