When a defendant fails to appear at his or her court date after being bailed out of jail it is considered bond jumping.
Jumping bond will typically be considered a crime in its own, and can result in the forfeiture of the bond, additional charges, and you will still be expected to face the pending charges. On top of this, if you ever get arrested and detained again in the future, after the current case is resolved, the bail in that future case may be very very high, because the judge will consider you a bail risk.
It is not uncommon for individuals to jump bond.
It can be easy for someone to forget they have court dates when they’re also busy with work or their families. They also may be in the hospital and have just forgotten to contact their attorney. These are all situations that will be taken into consideration when appearing before a judge.
In other situation a defendant may know they’re likely to be found guilty and choose to skip bond on purpose.
Here is an example of a defendant who jumps bond:
John is free on $1,000 bail after posting the full cash amount with the court. The judge then orders than John attends a pretrial settlement conference. However, John fails to attend and does not explain his absence to his lawyer. This results in John forfeiting the entire $1,000 to the court. On top of that, John may also find himself charged with the crime of bail jumping, in addition to the crime he was first charged with. There will now be a warrant out for John’s arrest, and when he’s picked up he is not likely to be offered a second chance to post bail.
If John purchased a bail bond for $100 and was required to post collateral by the bond seller to secure the bond, the bond seller may sell whatever property he pledged as security for the bond. If the collateral is insufficient, the bond seller may choose to hire a bounty hunter to find John, arrest him, and bring him back to court so that the bond seller no longer has to pay the full amount of the bail to the court, or gets the money back, if it has already been paid. If he skips bail, John could have two groups searching for him, the police and the bail bond seller/bounty hunter.
It is in your best interest to attend any required court dates.
If you find yourself in a situation that leads to your absence, contact someone as soon as possible.
This is a general article for example purposes. As always, please contact us at 979-821-2663 regarding your specific case.