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Failure to appear

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader

2014-08-14


Failure to appear

By Jeff Terrill
Fort Wayne Reader

Meet Dave. Dave doesnít always make good decisions (and heís not a real person, either). Two months ago, Dave punched a guy who charged at him at a concert. The prosecutor charged Dave with misdemeanor battery, a Class A misdemeanor. Dave hired a lawyer. Dave told his lawyer he was defending himself when he hit the guy.

Daveís lawyer seemed to think that he had a good defense. Dave asked his lawyer how long it would take to get the case dismissed. Daveís lawyer explained that the prosecutor is not likely to dismiss and that there could be a trial. Daveís lawyer told Dave to be patient.

Daveís frustration grew with each passing week. Dave didnít understand why he was in trouble for stopping some guy from tackling him. He told everyone who would listen his belief that the justice system was unfair.

Dave told his parents he planned to blow off court and leave town. Daveís parents told him it was a bad idea. Dave didnít listen. Instead of showing up for a routine court date, Dave left town and moved in with a friend near Indianapolis.

When Dave failed to appear in court, the judge issued a warrant for his arrest. Dave didnít seem to care. At last, Dave didnít have to worry about paying his lawyer or going to court. Dave finally felt free.

Several days after the missed court date, the prosecutor filed an additional misdemeanor charge for failing to appear. Daveís mom called him with the news. She pleaded with him without success to surrender to authorities. Dave no longer felt free.

Dave struggled to forget about the warrants. Driving home from work one day, a police officer stopped Dave for speeding. Dave gave the officer his license and registration. The officer returned to Daveís car and placed Dave under arrest for the outstanding warrants. The officer took Dave to the Marion County Jail where he stayed until he was transported back to the county where his charges were pending.

Dave appeared before the judge a few days later. Daveís lawyer asked for his clientís release. The court found Dave to be a flight risk and ordered him held without bond.

Dave is in jail now waiting for his trial. His parents visit every week. Dave apologizes and tells them he should have followed their advice months ago. He assures them that running from his problems only made things worse.

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Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you

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