What is Bail Jumping?

When you have been released from jail on bail, there are specific requirements you have to follow. One of those requirements is you must appear in court on your assigned date and time. Failing to do so is called bail jumping, or others call it bail skipping. Bail jumping is a serious offense and should not be taken lightly. According to the state and federal laws, if you fail to appear at your scheduled court date, you may forfeit your bond, you are more likely to be considered guilty of the charges you were given, you may face additional charges for bail jumping, and you may have lost your chance to be allowed to receive bail if you are ever charged with a crime again. Some may argue that they did not go to their court date because they were innocent of the charges against them; however, it is not an excuse that will hold up in court. 

Bail jumping consequences 

Someone that bail jumps will have to deal with serious legal issues, not to mention loads of money problems. Besides the fact that you will be receiving charges for bail jumping, you may also struggle with some of the following situations.

  • Loss of property will no longer belong to you, and the courts may sell it as they please. This also includes other family members' property. (If it was used to secure the bond.)
  • A bond agent will be assigned to catch you and bring you to jail upon arrest. They won't need the warrant to enter your house, and they are not required to read you your rights. 
  • You are most likely to be considered guilty of any crime you are going to court for. 
  • You must forfeit your bond.

Can I change my court date?

Some judges may let you change your court date if you have a good enough excuse and give them enough time to think about it. It is challenging for you to reschedule a court date when you are out on bond, especially if you have a felony arrest, but it is not impossible. Some people were able to change their dates due to a wedding, funeral, or other significant date coming up the day of your court date. 

What to do if I missed my court date while on bond?

If you've missed your court date because you forgot, didn't have a car, got lost, or any other reason, it is important that you immediately get to the courthouse as fast as you can, realizing any second there could be a warrant out for your arrest. Most judges don't look kindly on a person who has missed a court date, so it's close to impossible to get bail jumping forgiven. However, showing up to the court as soon as you can is one way that you may be able to get your absence excused. If you do not have a car, call your bail bond agent and ask them to give you a ride.