For those who have been arrested but released on bail, there are legal requirements for attending scheduled court dates for the resulting case. Unfortunately, some in this position choose to worsen what was already a serious situation, intentionally fleeing or missing these dates, a process known as “skipping bail.”
At Beehive Bail Bonds, we’re proud to offer 24/7 bail bonds and related services to all those who have been arrested and require assistance with meeting required bail amounts. We’re here to tell you the same thing we tell all our clients: Skipping bail should not be an option you consider whatsoever, as it will come with several negative consequences – consequences that may impact people even beyond yourself. This two-part blog series will go over a number of issues raised by what’s known as failure to appear in legal terms.
If a defendant in a given case has posted bail and been released from custody but fails to show for their first court appearance, they will be given the designation “failure to appear.” Unfortunately, this is a relatively common occurrence – a report on pretrial release of felony defendants in state courts by the US Department of Justice between 1990 and 2004 found that around 25 percent of all defendants end up facing a failure to appear charge before the completion of their case.
This will result in potentially significant consequences for those who receive this charge. Our upcoming sections will focus on what these consequences may be depending on the specifics of the case.
First and foremost, in situations where you paid your own bail to secure your release, these funds will be lost permanently if you skip bail and receive a failure to appear charge. The court will keep all sums, regardless of their amount. In situations where you appear properly, on the other hand, you will receive this money back (minus court expenses).
In other cases where you’ve utilized one of our bail bond agents to assist with meeting the required bail sum, the bondsman will be the one losing the money if you skip bail. The result will be similar: The bondsman will charge you the full amount paid for your release, including the fee required. In cases where you cannot be found to pay these sums, a bounty hunter may be sent to look for you.
The consequences of skipping bail include legal ones as well as financial ones. While some courts will give you a few days of leeway to show for your court date, particularly if there are mitigating circumstances, continued failure to appear will lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest. In other cases, this warrant might be issued immediately upon your first failure to appear.
For more on why you should never skip bail, or to learn about any of our bail bond services, speak to the staff at Beehive Bail Bonds today.