Are you out on bond? Make sure you know your court date! Emergencies can cause you to miss your court date, but not showing for that scheduled date can lead to severe consequences.
Part of your bail agreement includes showing up to court on time. Even if you do everything else according to the rules of your bond release, skipping your court date can undo everything you’ve done right.
What are the consequences if you skip bail? Keep reading to find out!
What Is Skipping Bail?
Bail jumping or skipping bail can happen in several ways. Leaving town without notice, failing to follow the rules of your bond agreement, and missing your court date qualify as skipping bail. When out of jail on bond, non-compliance in any of those ways is illegal with serious consequences when you’re caught.
What Happens If You Skip Bail?
Bail is a conditional release from jail while you wait for your trial. It’s not a “get out of jail” free card that allows you to go back to life before your arrest—without consequences.
To earn bail release, you must provide the required portion of your full bail amount. To stay free on bond, you must follow the rules outlined by the judge and arrive for your court date. Failure to follow every rule can result in one or more of these consequences.
Lose Your Bail Money
Even if you work with a bail bond agent, failing to show up for court could mean you lose your money. In most cases, completing the terms of your bail (including making your court date) means the court refunds your bail fee. However, the court can keep your bail money if you don’t show up for court.
Owe More Money To Your Bond Agent
If you don’t show up for court, the court doesn’t return any money to your bonding agent. When you hire a bondsman, they put up the full amount of money for your bail and guarantee that you’ll follow the rules and show up for court. If you don’t show up, they lose their money.
Showing up to court helps ensure that you won’t owe the full bail amount to the bail agency.
Return To Jail
When you miss your court date, the judge issues a bench warrant for your re-arrest. Once arrested, you’ll go back to jail without the option for bail this time.
Face Additional Charges
Since skipping bail is illegal, the judge can add more charges to your original charges. You’ll face trial and punishment if found guilty of the initial offenses, plus face additional penalties for violating your bond.
Don’t Skip Bail To Stay Out of Jail
Using bail is an excellent way to get out of jail while awaiting your trial. However, if you skip bail by missing a court date, you could end up back in jail and face additional consequences.
If you have questions about how the bail bonds process works, contact us! We’ll walk you through the process and help you spend less time in jail.