Texas Law: Failure To Appear

A failure to appear (FTA) in Texas is when you don’t show up for your court hearing. This can happen for several reasons, such as forgetting or not realizing when the scheduled hearing was to happen. Whatever the reason, failing to appear in court can have serious consequences.

What Happens If You Fail To Appear In Court?

If you fail to appear in court, the judge will likely issue a warrant for your arrest. This means you could be taken into custody and have to spend time in jail. Additionally, if you’re found guilty of the charge(s) against you, the judge may give you a harsher sentence because you didn’t appear in court.

Failure to appear is taken very seriously, and you should always attend court hearings. If you can’t make it, you should call the court in advance and let them know. Otherwise, you may experience harsh consequences on how your main case turns out.

Example consequences from failure to appear:

– Jail time

– Increased fines

– Community service

– Probation

Can You Fail To Appear Legally?

There are some cases where you may be able to fail to appear legally. For example, if you have a valid excuse or the court has already ruled in your favor.

However, failing to appear is not an option in most cases and can lead to serious consequences. It’s important to remember your court hearing date and to show up on time.

If you cannot attend your hearing, let the court know as soon as possible. There may be a possibility to reschedule or to have your case heard in absentia.

Valid reasons for failure to appear in court:

– You have a valid excuse, such as an illness or a family emergency

– The court has already ruled in your favor

– You’re in jail or prison

– You’ve been served with the notice of hearing, but you can’t attend for religious reasons

– You’ve been served with the notice of hearing, but you live out of state and can’t attend

What To Do If You Fail To Appear In Court?

If you fail to appear in court, the best thing you can do is turn yourself into court as soon as possible. This will show that you’re taking responsibility for your actions and willing to work with the court.

Additionally, you should be prepared to explain why you failed to appear and provide any documentation supporting your excuse. For example, if you missed your hearing while in the hospital, bring a copy of your discharge papers.

If you have a warrant for your arrest, contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you turn yourself in and may be able to get the warrant rescinded.

How Can An Attorney Help You If You Fail To Appear?

If you have a warrant for your arrest or face other consequences from failing to appear, an experienced attorney can help.

An attorney can review your case and help you determine the best course of action. Additionally, an attorney can represent you in court and may be able to get the warrant for your arrest rescinded. If you’re facing other consequences, such as increased fines or jail time, an attorney may be able to help you avoid these penalties.

While it may be tempting to represent yourself to save on legal fees, it is strongly recommended that you do not do this.

Failing to appear in court is a serious matter that can lead to consequences such as jail time and increased fines. If you cannot attend your hearing, let the court know ahead of time. In most cases, failing to appear is not an option.

Andrew Williams, an experienced attorney who can challenge evidence in a DWI case
About the Author: Andrew Williams
I am a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience defending people accused of wrongdoing. I am board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only ten percent of attorneys in Texas are board certified in their respective field. I practice criminal law exclusively in both state and federal court including appeals of criminal cases.