Failure to Appear in Court
If you are arrested for a crime in Oklahoma, you will have a bail or bond hearing and typically be afforded an opportunity to post bond and be released from jail while your case makes its way through the system. However, part of the bail agreement is that you will return for all of your scheduled court dates. If you fail to appear for any of those scheduled appearances, you will be charged with another crime—failure to appear.
If you fail to appear for any scheduled court date, the judge in your case will usually issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Generally speaking, law enforcement will not engage in a city-wide manhunt to track you down; however, if you have an active warrant out for your arrest and come into contact with a police officer, he or she will apprehend you on the spot.
Sometimes, sheriff’s departments or other agencies will conduct warrant sweeps. In this case, authorities may show up at your home or your place of work and arrest you in front of family, friends, coworkers, customers or employees, which can lead to further problems in your personal and professional life.
Because failure to appear is considered a crime, you can face penalties for conviction including:
- A fine of up to $5,000
- A prison sentence of up to two years