findElements instead of
findElements will return an empty list if no matching elements are found instead of an exception.
To check that an element is present, you could try this
Boolean isPresent = driver.findElements(By.yourLocator).size() > 0
This will return true if at least one element is found and false if it does not exist.
The official documentation recommends this method:
findElement should not be used to look for non-present elements, use findElements(By) and assert zero length response instead.