WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF SKIPPING BAIL?
Bail can be defined as a legally binding agreement that a defendant will show up in court on a given day and at a given time for trial. This agreement allows a person to have a life outside jail while waiting for the trial day. If the person fails to show up in court for his or her trial, then the person is said to be skipping bail and that can lead to several serious repercussions.
BAIL IS FORFEITED AND REVOKED
When a person skips bail, the first thing that is one is revocation of the bail. Someone caught skipping bail, will be sent back to jail usually, without the option of getting out again, until the trial is over. Also, the next thing that happens is forfeiture of bail money which just means that the money that was put up by either friends, family or even bail bondsmen, will be seized by the court. The bail money might be returned in some cases, if the defendant shows up within a few days after missing the date, with a good excuse for missing the original date.
AN ARREST WARRANT IS ISSUED
When a person skips bail, the court issues an arrest warrant for the person. This document gives the police the authority to arrest the person, as soon as they see him or her. Those caught like this are promptly taken to jail. One needs to know that these types only warrants are entered into a federal database in order for police in that jurisdiction to know about the charges. These warrants last forever and if one were to conduct a federal criminal records search, they would locate the information
COLLATERAL CAN BE SEIZED
Collateral that has been attached to the bail contract will be seized by the court or bail bondsman if the defendant skips bail and doesn't return or is never apprehended. This could mean that a family member or even friend who used a house or vehicle as collateral would lose it to the court. The bail bondsman, in some cases, can also begin legal proceedings against co-signers to get back the principal bail sum.
BAIL BONDSMEN COULD START TRACKING THE DEFENDANT
Bail bondsmen are allowed, in some states, to track down those who skip bail. Bail recovery agents are used to track down the defendant within a certain time frame. These agents have the authority to locate, detain and return the person to state custody. It should be noted that not all states allow bail bondsmen to use bounty hunters.
MONETARY PENALTIES ARE ASSESSED
A number of monetary penalties may be imposed on a defendant who skips bail. The fees vary and while some are intended to punish, some are meant for covering the costs incurred by the city because the defendant failed to show. The fees must be paid even in a situation where the case is dismissed or the defendant found not guilty.
ADDITIONAL CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE FILED
Someone who skips bail will have a number of charged filed against them. They may first of all be charged with failure to appear and this is the charge attached to the original arrest warrant. This charge is considered a felony in many states and then some others like obstruction of justice can be filed in some cases.
PREVENTIVE ARREST TO PREVENT BAIL SKIPPING
In some cases, when a defendant is discovered to be thinking of skipping bail, say perhaps they purchase plane tickets to a different jurisdiction, or maybe someone tells a friend that they intend to run or that the defendant is at a bus station, waiting to leave, the bail can be revoked and the person put in jail. It is not a common occurrence, but it happens.