Can a non-traffic citation turn into a felony if I missed court?

Q: I had a yellow ticket non-traffic citation for a minor harassment from confronting a person. I had my background apparently checked with an employer and says I have a felon? is it possible that I am mixed up with a different person since I have a hyphenated last name?

A: If you miss a non-traffic summary hearing, it is possible you can be found guilty in absentia, of the non-traffic offense. You should have been mailed a copy of the order informing you of your conviction and your right to appeal within thirty (30) days. I don’t believe the Court, nor the officer, would have authority to amend the charge up to a Felony. If they wanted to do that, they would have to amend the charges, refile and provide you with proper notice. It is possible, for example, they cited you then later learned a gun was involved in the threat. However,  I think there is some confusion here. I suggest you get a copy of the record the employer has or order a copy of your criminal history from the PA State Police.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.