How Do I Get a Failure to Appear (FTA) Dismissed?

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Wais Azami is a prominent Orange County criminal attorney who routinely handles arrest warrants and recalls bench warrants in the Orange County, LA, and Inland Empire from his Garden Grove office.

An attorney with experience in handling warrants can save you time from having to go to court yourself. Sometimes it is even possible to recall the warrant on the same day. Do not take a chance of getting pulled over or dragged into custody when you are least prepared. Call me now at (714) 321-9999!

I got an arrest warrant in the mail. What is a bench warrant for failure to appear in court?

FTA (Failure to Appear) means one or more of the following:

      • Failed to appear in court after a violation. Infractions count too
      • Fail to appear in court for an arraignment.
      • Fail to appear for court after promising to do so.
      • Your attorney did not show up for your hearing(s).

What are the things for which a judge can issue a warrant for arrest?

A judge can issue a warrant for your arrest for all of the reasons stated above under “failure to appear” in addition to the following:

      • Failing to comply with the terms of your probation or parole.
      • Failing to comply with the terms of your bail.
      • An indictment by a grand jury.
      • Failing to pay a fine or a ticket.

Can the police arrest me anywhere when I have a warrant for failure to appear? 

The short answer is yes! As a fugitive, you are wanted, and the court needs your physical presence in court. Thus, you can be picked up at your house, work, or anywhere in public.

Can the police take me from my house when there is a warrant for my arrest?

The short answer is yes but read below.  They may have an arrest warrant for you, but they must still follow certain procedures.

Who issues a warrant or bench warrant or arrest warrant?

A judge or magistrate in that particular jurisdiction issues the warrant.

Can I get bailed out if I’m arrested for a warrant? How do I get rid of a warrant?

This depends on whether the court issues a no-bail order.  A lot of times the FTA (failure to appear) is an additional charge or an additional violation.  The penal code for willfully failing to appear in court is PC 1320. That may require a separate bail in addition to the bail for the original underlying charge. If the original crime was a misdemeanor, the FTA charge will most likely also be a misdemeanor. Otherwise, it is a felony FTA if the underlying charge was a felony or multiple misdemeanors. We can assist with your OC warrants in as little as one business day. It is best to speak to an attorney to have your warrant removed because maybe there are deeper issues involved.

What can I do if I am not a citizen and there is a warrant for my arrest?

The short answer is to get a lawyer as soon as possible without talking to law enforcement. There are certain things immigrants must be aware of when they are facing criminal charges.

Do I need an attorney to remove a warrant? 

It is always advisable to have a warrant attorney who is not only licensed but also practices primarily criminal defense. If you are undocumented, most simple misdemeanor charges can be handled by your attorney to avoid incarceration, because the judge could ask the bailiff to hold you until you could pay for your bail. Once you are incarcerated, there is always a chance ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) may place a hold on you, even after you have paid the bond and are about to be released. In that case, you would forfeit the fees you paid to bail out and would still be held by ICE.

How are California bench warrants issued?

Orange County warrants or warrants anywhere in California are usually issued by a magistrate or court because someone has failed to comply with a legal demand or a court order. For example, not showing up for a scheduled court date or scheduled court hearing, not fulfilling terms of probation or parole, not paying fines, not appearing in court when demanded by the judge to appear, not appearing after promising to appear, and for various other reasons. A traffic ticket warrant is one of the most common ways to get a warrant for your arrest. A traffic ticket warrant lawyer can usually show up without you if the underlying crime is a misdemeanor.

The bottom line is that when a bench warrant has been issued for you, you could be taken into custody and forced to appear in front of a judge. If that is on a Friday afternoon, you will have to wait until the next weekday the court is open. No bail will be allowed. Law enforcement can take you in by coming to your known address, by pulling you over while you are driving, by coincidence/accident (usually in car accidents where people have to show IDs), or anywhere else you are identified by law enforcement. There are no set times when they can or cannot come for you.  Once an arrest warrant has been issued, you are considered a fugitive.

What does mean when I have a no-bail warrant? 

This means you cannot be a bailout. The reason there is a warrant for your arrest is that the magistrate wants to see you personally or have your legal representative show up to answer for you. That is because you have already failed to do something which you were obligated to do, or you promised to do. Once the court is satisfied with you or your attorney’s presence and explanation for your failure to appear, the court will decide whether you will be allowed to bail out or leave on your recognizance based on the new agreement between you and the court.

Can the police come and get me if there is a warrant for my arrest out of state? 

Any jurisdiction, out-of-county or out-of-state, could issue an arrest warrant. This usually populates on all law enforcement databases. When you are pulled over or identified by law enforcement, they will see the warrant for your arrest or apprehension. The state which holds you is called the asylum state. The state which created the warrant for your arrest is the demanding state. At this point, you will be taken into custody and asked to voluntarily admit that you are the person being sought at the demanding state. If you do admit and sign the extradition papers, you will be sent back to the demanding state much faster. If you stay silent or deny it, there will be a hearing at the jurisdiction (asylum state) where you are presently held to establish the wanted person is truly you. They can generally keep you as long as 30 days!

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The information within this website is NOT LEGAL ADVICE but merely meant to be general information. Nothing in this website, nor filling out any forms on this website, shall constitute an attorney-client relationship.

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