What are the consequences of jumping bail?

If you’re wondering, “What are the consequences of jumping bail?”, then you should know that the consequences usually don’t involve anything good. 

But to answer this question, let’s break down what bail is, why you shouldn’t jump bail, and what you can do if you need to skip court.

What is bail?

Bail is basically a promise to the court that you’ll return for your future hearing. Bail can be posted a variety of ways – with your own cash, with a gift from a loved one, or with the help of a bail bond agent. This amount is refunded to you (even if you’re found guilty) – but only if you attend all court dates.

What are the consequences of jumping bail? 

If you jump bail, it is considered a crime. While the penalties can vary from state to state, it is usually considered a misdemeanor to skip court. At this point, you can face up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. On top of this, you will forfeit bail – which means the original bail amount you posted will not be returned to you. If you worked with a bail bond agent, then they can work with a bounty hunter to get you returned to court and/or take any items you served up as collateral when you signed for your bond. 

Can you ever skip court?

Yes. In some cases, you are able to skip court. However, this can be a delicate process and is only allowed in extreme cases (most notably, life or death situations or uncontrollable accidents). For example, if you get in a car accident and end up in the hospital, this would be allowed. Keep in mind, though, you will still need to plead your case with the judge, document all proceedings, and likely work with a lawyer to get your skipped court date cleared.

Need more insight into the bail bond process?

We’ve got you covered. At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we’ve helped the people of Kern County understand the bail bond process and post bail quickly. If you’d like to learn more, check out our additional resources or reach out to us for more info.