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I have been to other over ten first appearances before so I decided to skip my 11th so I got scheduled another and fined.

Raleigh, NC |

I have been to other over ten first appearances before so I decided to skip my 11th so I got scheduled another and fined. Is that proper?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. I doubt you have been to ten first appearances for this case. Have you had first appearances in 10 other unrelated charges? Or have you been to court 10 time for this case already?

    Either way, I think what happened is that your case was reached on the docket, and you were called and failed. The DA called your case and you failed to appear, in other words. This puts an FTA (Failure to appear) on your case, and you have to pay a fee to have that removed. I think that's the fine you are talking about. Yes, this is proper in that it is legal and not uncommon.

    I know it is a total pain to sit in court and have your case not reached, or just continued, but this is the alternative if you don't come to court. It's not optional! Even if you have had 10 first appearances before on other cases, you need to have one on this case.

    This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to form a client/lawyer relationship. You can contact me for a limited telephone consultation or an email consultation at my website,, which is listed below. In addition to operating my own firm, I also work for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit law firm which exists to protect the rights of prisoners in the custody of the state of North Carolina. If a loved one is in prison in North Carolina, advise the inmate that they may write to North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. NCPLS will review their case at no cost and will litigate at no cost to the inmate if the case meets NCPLS' standards. NCPLS can also provide some assistance to inmates seeking to represent themselves. I am also available for cases that do not deal with inmates incarcerated in North Carolina's jails and prisons.

  2. You are required to appear in court. Failure to do so can result in a failure to appear being entered in your case, a fine, or even a warrant for your arrest. It seems very unlikely that you've made 11 court appearances for the same case. If the state was not prepared to proceed by this point, most judges would have denied the state's motion to continue and your case would have been dismissed.

    If you have additional questions, you should consult an attorney who practices criminal law in your area.

  3. You aren't allowed to decide to skip court even if you think the appearance is pointless.

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