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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… Scroll down to read more!

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?
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Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot
Criminal Defense Attorney – Deltona, FL
William David Umansky
William David Umansky
Criminal Defense Attorney – Orlando, FL

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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.)
For more than 23 years Michael A. Haber, P.A. has been providing creative, effective and zealous advocacy and counsel in cases ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder.  


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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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Michael A. Haber

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "it's all about reasonable doubt"! Whether in State or Federal Courts, Michael A. Haber, P.A. strives to ensure that his client's rights are respected and that his clients receive top-tier legal representation and counsel. For more than a quarter of a century I have striven to make Michael A. Haber, P.A. a business that custom tailors its services to meet the needs of the client. This incorporates such things as (but is not limited to) doing my best to meet clients at their convenience (as opposed to mine), in locations and at times which are mutually convenient (sometimes at their homes, places of business, independent ground - having free wifi and excellent coffee any Dunkin Donuts always works for me - and occasionally even at odd hours), structuring fees to reasonably accommodate the parties, making myself personally available to the client as close to 24/7 as is possible and, perhaps most importantly, giving careful and comprehensive consideration to both micro and macro issues in a given case so as to be able to agree upon and effort toward a viable litigation objective. This is why I refer to Michael A. Haber, P.A. proudly providing "boutique criminal defense litigation" (being "a small company that offers highly specialized services"), and this is a large part of Michael A. Haber, P.A.'s mission statement Accordingly, Michael A. Haber, P.A. has provided personalized and boutique legal services to both individuals and entities, primarily in the South Florida area, since 1991. With no history of professional discipline whatsoever, Michael A. Haber, Esq. zealously advocates his client's interests and custom tailors his services to meet each client's particular situation, needs and desires. Toward that end Michael A. Haber, Esq. makes himself directly available to his clients whether in person, over the phone (305-381-8686 or Toll Free 1-888-SHARK-8-1), by cell, verbally or text (305-798-2220), by e-mail ([email protected]) on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/haberpa ), on Twittter, (@Sharkjy910) on AOL/IM (Sharky910), and also why I consistently add information to the public on both the Michael A. Haber, P.A. Criminal Michael A Haber PA Criminal DUI Defense Litigation Miami Blog (http://www.habercriminallaw.blogspot.com/) and with my "Webisode" series on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/c/MichaelHaberLaw), whcih currently features 222 briegf VideoFAQ's on a variety of Criminal Defense, DUI and BUI related topics. When you hire Michael A. Haber, P.A. you get Michael A. Haber, Esq.! And remember, at HaberPA, it's all about reasonable doubt!
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