Friday, July 10, 2015

Does a trial take place in the absence of a Defendant when he flees the Country? ~ Best Answer on AVVO ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

Q:     Does a trial take place in the absence of a Defendant in Orange County, Florida? It is a domestic battery case and the defendant has left USA to his home country will the trial still be carryout and will the judgement be passed in the absence of the defendant or his council?


A:    Chosen as "Best Answer" by Asker on www.AVVO.com



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Lawyers agree
Best Answer
chosen by asker
Answered The Court can conduct a trial in absentia if it wishes.

If it does then the jury will be instructed that the Defendant has "voluntarily absented himself from the proceedings" and that they cannot consider that fact one way or the other when they hear the evidence and deliberate their verdict.

Or the court can issue a warrant and stay the proceedings until he gets caught, if he gets caught, at which time he will face an additional charge of "bail jumping". (As to this additional charge, Florida Statute 843.15 is the "bail jumping" statute and, essentially it provides a mechanism for the State to charge him with a separate and independent crime when he fails to appear while on pre-trial release on bail. Subsection (1)(b) makes it a separate first degree misdemeanor where one fails to appear in court after posting bail in any misdemeanor case, and section (1)(a) makes it a separate third degree felony where one fails to appear in court after posting bail in any felony case. IIn other words, a failure to appear while out on bond may constitute a separate and distinct crime in and of itself. The exact language of the statute is: "whoever, having been released pursuant to chapter 903, willfully fails to appear before any court or judicial officer as required shall incur a forfeiture of any security which was given or pledged for her or his release and, in addition, shall: (a) If she or he was released in connection with a charge of felony or while awaiting sentence or pending review by certiorari after conviction of any offense, be guilty of a felony of the third degree…: or (b) If she or he was released in connection with a charge of misdemeanor, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree." You should know that FS 843.15 also holds that nothing in the statute shall interfere with or prevent the Court from exercising its power to punish the absconder for contempt of court as well.)

In addition, the State can seek a fugitive warrant, including interstate or international, and that these warrants are routinely honored and are almost always ultimately served. Sometimes it take years, other times not so long, but the government almost universally gets its man.

I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.)

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THIS BLOG POST (AS ARE ALL OF HABERPA BLOG POSTS) IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT WHICH IS PRIMARILY DESIGNED, BY WAY OF REAL WORLD EXAMPLE, TO ASSIST THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN AVOIDING CONDUCT WHICH COULD FORESEEABLY RESULT IN ARREST AND PROSECUTION!  


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