When you face a problem in life, you, like many others in North Carolina and elsewhere, may simply hope that it will go away. If it is a small issue, it might go away without you having to address it, but more often, a problem will only get worse if you choose to do nothing about it.
If you have recently faced charges for a crime, the situation will not go away on its own. The longer you ignore it, the worse the consequences will likely be, especially if you do not attend court hearings, jump bail or commit other offenses. Even if you do not think your situation is serious because of the type of charges or how they came about, the severity could increase.
The ways in which criminal charges come about vary. For instance, if authorities believe you committed an infraction, you may have received a citation. Many people also refer to citations as tickets, which seems less formal, and it is common for people to think that receiving a citation is not a big deal. However, if you received one, the law still expects some kind of action from you, which is typically to pay a fine. If you don’t pay or combat the citation, you could incur more serious penalties.
Formal charges could also come about after authorities have arrested you. In such a case, the pending charges likely have more serious potential penalties than for an infraction. A prosecutor may present evidence to a judge in order to have formal charges brought or present evidence to a grand jury in hopes of getting an indictment for formal charges. If this happens and you ignore the charges, a judge will likely find you guilty of the charges, put you in contempt of court or apply other serious repercussions.
Rather than simply ignoring serious criminal charges or trying to skirt the law, you may want to take the initiative and prepare for your case as well as possible. That preparation could include understanding how the court filed the charges, what the exact charges are, your defense options and how the court intends to proceed with the case. This and other information could better ensure that you have the opportunity to protect your interests and avoid any unnecessary penalties that could come from not properly handling your situation.