A majority of our criminal and traffic consultations involve driving without a driver’s license or driving on a suspended license. In several instances, these people are undocumented and are too afraid to show up to court for risk of being deported. Failure to appear in court for your trial date results in much worse consequences. A failure to appear (FTA) results in the court issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. In other words, if you ever get into any more trouble and the police happen to run your name in their database, they will see there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest and will arrest you. There will likely be significant immigration effects.
In many circumstances, we will have potential clients call us and ask what they can do to get rid of the arrest warrant and go to court for the charges. The first step we can do is to file a motion to quash the warrant, and if a judge grants it, the court will recall the warrant, and then a new court date can be scheduled to defend the charges. Motions to quash are not always granted though, so if you do not have a legitimate excuse for missing your original trial date (i.e. changed addresses), it is likely to be denied. At that point, you will have to turn yourself in to get a new trial date to defend your charges.
When trying to resolve a driving without a license or driving on a suspended license case, the best thing to do is to work on getting a license or resolving the suspension issue. A judge will look more favorably on someone who is actively trying to obtain a driver’s license or trying to resolve the suspension.
If you have been charged with a crime in Maryland, call us today to speak to one our experienced Maryland criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation or if you would like more information please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Baltimore or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Maryland-Criminal-Defense/