What is Failure to Attend Court?

Failure to attend court is a serious criminal offence that could result in jail time and a criminal record.  If you are arrested and charged with an offence it is of upmost importance that you hire a criminal lawyer to appear in court for you.  If you are self-represented it is imperative that you remember your court dates as theses charges have serious implications.  If you don’t appear in court (on your First Appearance or thereafter) a bench warrant may be ordered for your arrest with/without a charge of failure to attend court.  This is a matter of police discretion.  It is not uncommon for individuals to receive phone calls from the police advising them that there is a warrant out for their arrest as a result of a bench warrant.  The police can either release from the station or take you to court for a bail hearing.

The Criminal Code of Canada states:
145.
(2) Every one who,
(a) being at large on his undertaking or recognizance given to or entered into before a justice or judge, fails, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, to attend court in accordance with the undertaking or recognizance, or
(b) having appeared before a court, justice or judge, fails, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, to attend court as thereafter required by the court, justice or judge,

There is a statutory defence of “lawful excuse” contained in section 145(2).  An individual who has exercised his/her due diligence but simply forgets their court date may be acquitted after trial.  You should speak with a criminal lawyer immediately if you are facing this charge.

Failure to Attend court is a hybrid offence which means the crown can proceed by summary conviction or indictment.  If the crown proceed summarily the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail.  If the crown proceeds by indictment the maximum sentence is two years in jail.


Our law firm has successfully defended many of these charges and will fight to ensure the best possible result in your case.

Other Questions You May Have:
What is a Peace Bond?
What is a Bail Hearing?
How Will a Criminal Record Affect Me?
What Are the Stages of  a Criminal Case?


IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH FAILURE TO ATTEND COURT CALL OUR OFFICE NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.

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