Obtaining a release from jail by means of a bail bond is an effort that is worth the outcome. But when a bail bond company bails a person out of jail, there are several strings attached. And these strings are very strict and mandatory under law. One of the most important responsibilities of a defendant is to show up, on time, for all scheduled court hearings. After being bailed out of jail, if a defendant fails to appear (FTA) for a court date, they are committing a crime called “bail jumping”, which comes with a separate set of penalties all on its own.
If a defendant chooses to disobey this condition, as well as any other the terms and conditions of their bail, they will face a list of legal ramifications and penalties, including fines, fees, court hearings, and even possible jail time. If you or someone you love is prepared to skip their upcoming court hearing, then be aware that this will instantly revoke their bail (or yours) and set them (or you) on a very difficult and detrimental path. Continue reading to learn the consequences for jumping bail, and perhaps save yourself or your loved one from a future of legal troubles.
Bail Jumping is a Crime
When a person fails to appear for a scheduled court date after being bailed out of jail, they are jumping bail, which is a crime. They will instantly forfeit their bond and a bench warrant will be issued for their re-arrest. If a person fails to appear for court as a result of circumstances beyond their control, and they can provide tangible evidence to support this, it is possible for the courts to set aside their bail bond forfeiture.
But this is rare. That’s because in order to convict a person of bail jumping, prosecution need only provide proof that the defendant knowingly and intentionally failed to appear for court. And they do this easily with the very documents a defendant signed as they were released on bail, including the bail agreement that specifically states the date of their court hearing, as well as, the multiple notices sent to the home address they provided at the time they signed the bail agreement.
If charged with bail jumping, a defendant can expect:
- Additional Criminal Charges
- Money/Property Forfeiture
- Revoked Bail
- Bench Warrant
- Turning Themselves in to Police
- Court Costs and Attorney Fees