Before you think about skipping bail and heading for the hills, there’s a few things you should be aware of. First off, bail jumping is a serious offense that can result in a number of actions, as well as legal and financial consequences.
But first, let’s define what this evasive act is. Bail jumping is the act a person who is released on bail commits when they fail to appear for their court date with the intent of avoiding a trial, possible conviction, and sentence.
When someone jumps bail, they have committed two acts. The first is defying a court order. The second is a breach of contract with the bail bonds company used to secure their bail. In the first instance the court can issue a warrant for their arrest, file a contempt of court charge, and tack on additional charges. The additional legal consequences depend on many factors, including the nature of the charges, prior convictions, prior court appearances, and stability in the community. The DMV can also suspend the defendant’s license until the warrant is cleared.
Regarding the contract breach, bail money or assets used as collateral to secure someone’s release will be forfeited. Or, in other words, if you’ve co-signed and put up bail money or a car as collateral for a loved one, you could lose that money or property if the defendant is not brought back to court or into custody within a certain amount of time. There are other financial costs you may be liable for if you put up bail for someone that jumps. Those costs include expenses incurred by the bail bonds company as a result of bail jumping, such as investigation fees to find the defendant, attorney fees, and other expenses incurred by the bail bond agent.
Bail jumping is a serious offense with serious consequences. Missing a court date for a legitimate reason or a mix-up with court dates that results in a missed court appearance is one thing, and can usually be remedied with some communication with the bail bonds agent and court, additional paperwork, and explanations. Missing a court date with the intent of avoiding trial, convictions, and sentencing is another, more critical, matter. Make sure you, if facing a bail situation, or your loved one, if you are putting up the bail, understand the consequences involved with the act of jumping bail.
For more information from a trusted, experienced, and respected bail bonds company, Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds is available 24 hours a day to answer your questions at (719) 390-3930.