In Absentia Law and Legal Definition

In absentia is a Latin Term meaning "in the absence". In the context of criminal law, it refers to a trial carried on without the presence of the accused. However, due to the right to confront accusers granted under the Sixth Amendment, such trials rarely occur. Some states will conduct a trial in absentia when the defendant flees or otherwise voluntarily fails to appear in court after being arrested. An automatic retrial may be granted by state law when someone is arrested after being convicted in absentia. State laws vary, so local law should be consulted.