Fulfilling court obligations is not just a matter of respect towards the legal system, but also a crucial step in resolving legal issues. An essential part of this process is attending your scheduled court date. This appointment, however, can sometimes be overlooked or intentionally ignored, leading to what is known in legal terms as a “failure to appear.” While it might seem like a minor oversight, the consequences of missing your court date are significant and far-reaching.
In this blog post, we delve into the repercussions of such an act, including bail bond forfeiture, and provide insights to help you comprehend the gravity of this action. Stay tuned as we journey into this critical aspect of legal proceedings.
Failure to Appear (FTA)
When you are out on bail and fail to show up for your court date, it is known as a failure to appear, or “FTA” for short. It is also referred to as bail jumping in the bail bond industry. This means that you have not followed the conditions of release set by the court system. Depending on the severity of the offense associated with your case, this act may be regarded as a criminal violation in itself. Consequently, those who opt to skip their court date might be charged with an additional criminal offense or face a warrant for their arrest.
Bail Bond Forfeiture
Moreover, failure to appear can have a financial impact on the individual in question. If you are out on bail and skip your scheduled court appointment, your bail bond terms and conditions will require you (or whoever co-signed the agreement) to pay back the remaining bond amount. This process is known as bail bond forfeiture or bail bond revocation, and can result in substantial financial losses.
For example, if bail is set at $5,000 and the bail bondsman charges a 10% fee, you would pay a non-refundable service fee of $500 to get out of jail – but if you fail to appear for court, you (or the cosigner) will be legally required to pay the remaining $4,500 to the bail bond agency. You might also face additional penalty fees and fines.
How to Get Your Court Date Rescheduled if You Cannot Make It
If you do find yourself unable to make it to court on the specified date, it is important to keep in mind that the consequences of such an act could be serious. You should contact your attorney as soon as possible for advice on how best to proceed, as well as any available alternatives. Ignoring the situation or hoping for the best is not an advisable course of action.
Lasting Consequences of an FTA
It is also important to remember that failure to appear can have long-term consequences. For instance, your case may be put on hold until you are located and brought into court. This could result in a lengthy delay or even dismissal of your case, neither of which would be beneficial. Furthermore, should you be convicted, the fact that you failed to appear may be taken into consideration during sentencing.
In conclusion, it is important to take your court dates seriously and remain vigilant about meeting your obligations. Skipping your scheduled appointment could lead to a host of unwanted legal issues, both in the short- and long-term. A few proactive steps such as seeking advice from an attorney and being familiar with the relevant bail bond laws can help you avoid any devastating consequences. Talk to your bail bondsman about the specific terms and conditions of their agreement so that you know what is expected of you while out on bail.
Are you looking for a trusted way to get your loved one out of Hamilton County Jail in Noblesville, Indiana? Contact Uptown Bail Bonds at 317-919-2489 for fast and secure bail bonds in Hamilton County, Indiana. We also provide prearranged bail for arrest warrant surrenders.