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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Hicks

Understanding Indiana's Failure to Respond to a Summons 35-44.1-2-1: Legal Insights by B. Hicks Law



When it comes to navigating Indiana's legal system, it's essential to have a good understanding of the laws that govern our state. One such law that often goes unnoticed but can have significant consequences is the Failure to Respond to a Summons, as outlined in Indiana Code IC 35-44.1-2-10. At B. Hicks Law, we are committed to helping you understand your rights and responsibilities under this law and providing expert criminal defense if you ever find yourself facing a Failure to Respond to a Summons charge.


What is Failure to Respond to a Summons?


Indiana Code IC 35-44.1-2-10 defines Failure to Respond to a Summons as the intentional act of not appearing at a specified time and place when issued a summons. This law applies to two specific scenarios:

  1. When you receive a complaint and summons related to an infraction or ordinance violation.

  2. When you are issued a summons, or summons and promise to appear, in connection with a misdemeanor violation.

Failure to respond to a summons is classified as a Class C misdemeanor. In Indiana, Class C misdemeanors are considered the least serious of misdemeanors, but they can still lead to penalties that may have a lasting impact on your record and life.


Why You Should Take Failure to Respond to a Summons Seriously


While Class C misdemeanors may not be as severe as higher-level offenses, it is crucial to understand the potential consequences. Many individuals underestimate the significance of Failure to Respond to a Summons until they face the legal repercussions.

Some important points to consider:

  1. No Defense in Acquittal or Favorable Judgment: It is important to note that being acquitted of the misdemeanor for which you were summoned to appear or receiving a judgment in your favor in an infraction or ordinance proceeding is not a valid defense against Failure to Respond to a Summons. This means that even if the initial charges are dropped, you can still be charged and penalized for failing to respond to your summons.

  2. Potential Penalties: A Class C misdemeanor in Indiana can result in a fine of up to $500, a jail sentence of up to 60 days, or a combination of both. Additionally, it can leave a permanent mark on your criminal record, which can affect your future employment, housing, and more.

How B. Hicks Law Can Help

If you or someone you know is facing a Failure to Respond to a Summons charge in Indiana, it's vital to seek experienced legal representation. At B. Hicks Law, we specialize in criminal defense and have a deep understanding of Indiana's legal system. Our legal experts will work diligently to protect your rights, build a strong defense, and strive to minimize or eliminate the potential consequences associated with this charge.

Our services include:

  • Legal Consultation: We offer a free initial consultation to assess your case and provide guidance on the best course of action.

  • Strategic Defense: Our experienced attorneys will develop a strategic defense tailored to your unique situation.

  • Negotiation and Representation: We will negotiate with prosecutors and represent you in court, advocating for the best possible outcome.


Understanding the nuances of Failure to Respond to a Summons in Indiana is crucial to protecting your legal rights and ensuring the best possible outcome for your case. The consequences of a Class C misdemeanor can be severe, but with the expertise of B. Hicks Law on your side, you can navigate the legal process with confidence and work towards a favorable resolution.

If you're facing a Failure to Respond to a Summons charge or have legal questions related to this matter, don't hesitate to reach out to B. Hicks Law for expert legal assistance. We're here to guide you through every step of the legal process and provide the best defense for your case.

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