Criminal Law Articles Library

Failure To Appear In Florida

Posted by Powers Sellers & Finkelstein | Mar 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Failure To Appear For Court Florida

If you have failed to appear for a court date in Florida the consequences of your failure to appear could be harsh. Only an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney can advise you how to proceed based on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding your failure to appear; however, there are some common situations and resulting outcomes that may provide you with general information.

  • Failing to appear when summoned/subpoenaed –you could be subpoenaed by a court to appear as a witness in a civil or criminal case. Although you are only a witness, an order to appear is just that, an order to appear. Failing to obey that order could result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.
  • Failing to appear for probation/parole –when you are on probation or parole you remain under the court's authority. Failing to show up for a scheduled appointment, while not technically a “failure to appear”, will often result in the officer filing a violation with the court unless your attorney is able to intervene before the violation is filed.
  • Failing to appear in civil court –failing to appear in a civil court matter, such as a divorce or a small claims lawsuit could result in the court continuing the matter or could result in the court entering a default judgment against you and in favor of the other party. If, for example, someone filed a lawsuit against you and you fail to show up for court the judge may enter a judgment in favor of the other party for the amount asked for in the original complaint or petition. In essence, you have lost your right to defend yourself by failing to appear.
  • Failing to appear in criminal court –failing to appear for a pre-trial hearing in criminal court will often result in the judge immediately issuing an order for your arrest. In some cases, if your attorney is able to provide a valid reason for your failure to appear the judge will hold off with the order for your arrest and give you a short amount of time to make your appearance. If you are ultimately arrested as a result of a failure to appear in a criminal case your bail will typically be revoked, meaning you will remain incarcerated until your case is resolved.  Additionally, the prosecutor may choose to file a separate and distinct criminal charge of Failure to Appear.
  • Failing to appear for trial –though many people are unaware of this, failing to appear for trial could actually result in your conviction after a “trial in absentia”. In certain situations, the prosecution can actually conduct a trial without you there, resulting in your conviction without the ability to present a defense.


If you have failed to appear for any reason in Florida, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to discuss your options. You can contact The Law Firm of Powers Sellers & Finkelstein, PLC for a free case evaluation at 727-531-2926.

About the Author


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Keep Calm. Call Us.

Best client service

We make sure to be there for our clients every step of the way.

Amazing track record

We will put our long-standing record of success to work for you.

Top litigators

Our team has over 30 years of litigation experience.

Expert problem solvers

No problem has been proven too big for us to handle.

Contact Us Today

Powers Sellers & Finkelstein is committed to answering your questions about Criminal Defense law issues in Florida. We offer a free consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.