Notice to Appear

A notice to appear is a court order requesting you to appear in person. The notice to appear is a serious order because it is equivalent to an arrest. The notice to appear is another way law enforcement brings charges against someone. Sometimes the notice to appear is given instead of a formal arrest. This is particularly true if you don’t have a criminal record.

  • A Notice to Appear is the same thing as being arrested
  • The Notice is based on criminal charges that are being brought against you
  • You will have a specific date and time to appear in front of a judge
  • You are being prosecuted for a crime.
  • Any charges are serious and a conviction may include penalties such as a jail sentence, fines, and probation and will appear on your permanent record.

If you have received a Notice to Appear, it must be taken seriously. If you fail to appear on the specified date, further action will be taken against you. There is no distinction between crimes that are charged through a notice to appear versus crimes that are charged via arrest. A Notice to Appear is simply an easy way for law enforcement to bring criminal charges against someone.

The Notice to Appear will include the crime or crimes that you are charged with. It will say that there is probable cause to believe that you committed a crime. When you receive a Notice to Appear you should immediately hire a criminal attorney. The attorney will find out exactly what you are being charged with and will assist you in handling your defense.

Your attorney will work to try to get the charges against you dismissed. It is strongly recommended that you appear at the first date listed as your appearance date. Your attorney will attend this appearance with you. In many cases, the judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney will come to an agreement which may resolve the case immediately.