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Los angeles Failure To Appear (Penal Code 1320) Lawyers

March 21, 2024

Understanding “Failure to Appear” (FTA) Charges

When someone is charged with a crime, they are usually ordered to appear in court on a specific day and time. If you fail to show up to court at your appointed time, you might be charged with “Failure to Appear” (FTA).

Stipulations of FTA

This crime has a few stipulations attached to it:

  • You were charged with or convicted of a California crime
  • Were released from custody and
  • You willfully failed to appear in court when you were supposed to “in order to evade the process of the court”

This is covered in California Penal Code 1320 and it is usually aimed at defendants who were released on their own recognizance. Penal Code 1320.5 includes defendants who were released on bail and THEN failed to appear in court.

A Few Examples of FTA

– A defendant charged with possession of hydrocodone is released on bail and scheduled to appear in court a month later. They fail to do so because they don’t want to face the consequences or potential jail time (Penal Code 1320.5)

– A woman who is charged with vandalism is released on her own recognizance and scheduled to appear a week later. She doesn’t (Penal Code 1320)

Penalties for FTA

Potential penalties will usually be relative to the crime you were charged of in the first place. If you were charged with a misdemeanor, released, and failed to appear, this would also be a misdemeanor. However, if you were accused of a felony and then you fail to appear, now you’re facing ANOTHER felony charge (Felony Failure to Appear). Both of these crimes might include jail time, though a felony charge will always put you at risk for a longer amount of time in jail.

Penalties can be harsh. It can be a fine of up to $10,000 and 3 years in jail, depending on the severity of the charge you failed to appear for. When you fail to appear, a bench warrant is issued for your arrest, and this means that you will live in constant fear until that day comes when the court finally tracks you down. And they will. They always do.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Call a Lawyer

If you’ve missed a court date, there are so many defenses that your defense lawyer can use. Some people legitimately get busy and forget to appear in court, and although it’s still initially a crime, sometimes the court can have great mercy on you, depending on the circumstances of your failure to appear.

For example, if you had been in a car accident on the day you were scheduled to appear, then this is probably going to get the charge dismissed if you were in the hospital. You literally couldn’t appear, and the court will be able to understand that when the evidence is shown to them that you were in the hospital.

A lawyer is the person who can give you your best chance against these charges. Defending yourself reflects poorly with the court. Only a lawyer knows FTA laws inside and out and only they have experience dealing with judges in California and prosecutors who have a specific agenda in mind when they try a case. All of these parties work together for the common good.

Other potential defenses for this charge include proving that you did not “willfully” evade appearing in court to face the process of the court. This might mean you literally forgot your court date and did not willfully miss it or try to evade prosecution. This might greatly lessen the consequences of a FTA charge.

Golden Rule: Call A Lawyer

The golden rule of every charge is: Call a lawyer! Do not try to face the process of the court by yourself. So many defendants don’t know what to do after they’re charged with a crime and they are at a loss. Don’t be. There is a lawyer here who can help you face these charges and face them with integrity. Many people who fail to appear are scared and rightfully so. Criminal charges are scary. But when you have a good lawyer by your side, you should have the confidence it takes to face the court once and for all.

Lawyers You Can Trust

Todd Spodek

Founding Partner

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RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

Associate

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JEREMY FEIGENBAUM

Associate Attorney

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ELIZABETH GARVEY

Associate

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CLAIRE BANKS

Associate

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RAJESH BARUA

Of-Counsel

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CHAD LEWIN

Of-Counsel

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