After a defendant posts a bail bond, there is still a long way to go in the legal process. The defendant will still need to abide by their bail bond agreement, which includes appearing at any scheduled court dates. Unfortunately, some individuals make the poor decision to skip bail. Skipping or jumping bail—when the defendant does not show up for their court date and flees without contacting anyone regarding their absence—leads to serious consequences with the law, as well as with your bail bondsman. The defendant may try to skip town in hopes of avoiding arrest. Since there are serious consequences associated with skipping bail, here’s what you need to know so you never make this mistake.
Consequences of Skipping Bail
Eventually, You’re Going to Get Caught
Once you skip bail, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. The problem with skipping bail is that once the arrest warrant has been issued, all police officers will be on the lookout for you. If a police officer has to stop you, even for a routine traffic spot, they can check your ID and arrest you for skipping bail. Once you are brought in, you will have to face additional charges as well as your original ones.
Your Family Will Suffer
If you skip bail, the person responsible for posting bail for you will be forced to pay it. Unless they decide to runaway as well, the bail amount will be considered a debt, and the consequences will include a mark on their credit report. The bail bondsman will do everything they can to collect this money from them if you runaway. Plus, when they look for you, the bounty hunter or private investigator will question your friends and family. They may not be able to live their lives comfortably until you turn yourself in, as they will be under additional scrutiny. If you asked for a relative or friend to help you escape, they can face potential criminal charges.
You Will Owe a Lot of Money
Once you are caught and arrested for skipping bail, you will owe a lot of money. Not only will you owe the entire bail amount, but you will also have to pay fines and penalties for skipping your court hearing. If a bounty hunter is the one who found you, you will need to pay for their legal fees and costs. In addition to dealing with the law, you will also incur serious debt.
The Judge May Revoke Your Bail
Another major consequence you should consider before thinking about skipping bail is that the judge may choose to revoke your bail. The purpose of bail is to ensure that you appear at your future court dates, and it does you a favor so you can keep your life as normal as possible instead of sitting in a jail cell. When you skip bail, you are essentially telling the judge that the amount posted for bail was not a big enough incentive to motivate you to show up to court. Missing your court date will lead the judge to revoke your bail. The consequences of this will not weigh favorably with the court. If you ever commit a crime in the future, the judge may deny you from getting bail at all, or they may post the bail amount significantly higher since you have proven yourself to be a potential flight risk.
Bounty Hunters Can Come After You
In addition to police, a bounty hunter may be sent out to look for you. You may owe fees as high as tens or even hundreds or thousands of dollars to the bail bond agency, depending on the severity of your crime. This is because the bondsman remains responsible for the remainder of your bail, which does not sit well with them. When they choose to post bail for you, they decrease the amount that you would have to pay out of pocket to get out of jail. Skipping bail is like betraying your bail bondsman, so if you run, they will need to get their money somehow. If you posted collateral, they will seize your property to get what they are owed.
There Will Be Other Consequences (Additional Charges)
Even if you manage to stay hidden for a while, there will still be other consequences for skipping bail. You won’t be able to rent a home and will not be able to work. You will constantly be hiding, as law enforcement will be looking for you and keeping an eye on your place of employment, and the homes of your family and friends. Since you’ll eventually get caught, you’ll eventually need to serve time anyway. By running, all you are doing is delaying the length of time until you can get your life back to normal.
How PCS Bail Bonds Can Help You
If you are considering skipping bail, this information will hopefully change your mind. However, if you have already decided to skip your court date or forgot when it was, you need to take immediate action to fix the situation. There are many jurisdictions that offer leniency to those who turn themselves in within 30 days of the missed date. If you worked with the bail bondsman to post your initial bond, you should contact them as soon as you can. They can work with you to help you reinstate your bond so that you don’t have to go back to jail. The longer you delay, the worst you look.
Do you need to post bail for a loved one? PCS Bail Bonds can help you if you need to post bail or need advice about your situation. Our bail bonds company provides 24-hour bonds for all kinds of charges including theft, drug and weapon possession, embezzlement, assault, burglary, and more. We can help you get collateral and offer 10% lower bond fees. Contact us now by phone at 817-335-1655, at our e-mail, visit in-person, or fill out our bail bond request form.