You may have often come across the term “bail” whether through media or witnessed court proceedings that made you aware of the term.
However, “bail jumper” is a term that you don’t come across every day and if you happen to be caught among the steps of a legal proceeding, you might as well wish to know about the concept of a bail jumper. Although, before you are acquainted with the term bail jumper, you must gather knowledge about bail and bonds that would gradually take you to the term.
If you are suspected to have committed a serious crime, you would be taken into police custody and the officer will perform a thorough check of your background and collect evidences or gather circumstantial evidence to produce these in court on the day of your first hearing. Depending on these aspects, you can plea for a bail to the court upon which the court will determine if you are eligible for a bail and whether or not you pose as a flight risk and ensure public safety interest.
The first hearing at the court will determine whether you can be granted bail and on an affirmative decision, the court will demand for a reassurance that you would appear on the scheduled dates of further hearings. If you’re on bail and fail to attend the court for your next hearing or consecutive hearings, then you’re regarded to be a bail jumper.
In a simplified view, a bail jumper is one who fails to attend his/ her scheduled trials when they are on bail.
If you as the defendant fail to attend the court on the scheduled date of your trial/ hearing, there could be several charges issued against you. Moreover, if your bail fee was paid by a bail bond agent, then they are more likely to hire an investigator to search for you and produce you to the court.
Also, the bondsman will plead the court for rescheduling the hearing and assure to produce you in the court on the rescheduled date.
Of course it is! If you are of the idea that once you have achieved bail, you do not need to attend your hearings, you are probably planning to commit the crime of bail jumping intentionally or unintentionally. Whichever way, it is a punishable offence and the defendant is likely to be charged with misdemeanor, ill-conduct and FTA (Failing to Appear).
If you are on probation, then you would be charged with violation of your terms. In every way, bail jumping is considered to be a grave offence and if you are not aware of it when applying for bail, you must ask your attorney for guiding you with the norms that you need to follow during the interim period.
The offence of bail jumping can produce serious consequences on your legal status, property and finances, and your chances of being proved as innocent of the crime that you have already been charged with. In these circumstances, if you have used your property as collateral to the court, there is a possibility that the court will seize your property and sell it as it has all the right to do so.
On the contrary, if you have paid for your bail fee through a bondsman, then they would hire investigators to search for you and produce you at the court. The bond agents are legally entitled to hire a bail recovery agent who will search for you. These agents do not follow the general warrant rules of the police. They can enter your place and arrest you without a warrant. If you have signed up with a bond agent, then you have voluntarily agreed to these terms and conditions of the contract.
The guidelines are usually stated to you by your attorney or the bondsman with whom you have signed to pay for your fees. However, it is no such trouble to avoid such an offence. When you have been granted with bail, it is a must that you should appear for the further hearings and complete all the proceedings that are required of you.