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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Is "Failure to Appear" a Crime

    This is a follow-up to an earlier post about a bench warrant in New York City.

    I was issued a ticket for public consumption of alcohol a while back and neglected to mail in the guilty plea and fine. When I found the old ticket in my apartment, I called the courthouse and discovered there was a warrant for my arrest. I went down the next day. The warrant was vacated at the clerk's office (no arrest, no bail), I appeared before a judge, plead guilty to the original charge and paid the original fine. It was essentially a clerical exercise.

    However, I now need to know if the failure to mail the plea/appear in court was a crime in itself. Nothing of this sort was mentioned during the ordeal. I have heard different states have different laws on this. Is this a crime in New York? Will I be charged for failure to appear at some point? I very much need to know this. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Key West, FL

    Default Re: Is "Failure to Appear" a Crime (Please Help)

    No, the bench warrant is not an independent offense. If it was vacated and you settled the offense, it is over. Nothing to worry about other than a minor conviction on your record.

    If you were just issued a citation and not arrested on the spot, then it is a civil violation and is not a criminal offense. You will not have any criminal offense on your record from this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Southeastern Michigan

    Default Re: Is "Failure to Appear" a Crime (Please Help)

    You appeared, the warrant was vacated, you plead to your case and paid the fine. That's pretty much it.

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