Not many experiences are as unsettling as being locked up in jail. If you are charged with a crime, one of the decisions the court will consider is whether or not you can be released on bail while your case is being litigated. Of course, the decision to release you on bail will depend on a number of factors, including the nature of the charge sheet.
One of the conditions the court will set forth when releasing you on bail is the requirement to show up in court for your hearing. Missing a court date, also known as skipping or jumping bail, comes with numerous negative consequences.
Here are two important reasons why you must never miss your court date:
You might end up in jail for the rest of your trial period
As soon as you jump bail, the court will issue an arrest warrant against you. The bond agent will also come after you. And once you are taken into custody, you might spend the rest of the trial period in jail.
Your decision to jump bail will also go into your criminal record. This means that should you get in trouble with the law in the future, you have a difficult time convincing the court to release you on bail again.
It can result in forfeiture of your bail money
If the court sets you free, you will be required to deposit some form of collateral with the court clerk. This is known as bail. If you paid your own bail, you will lose every penny of it if you miss court. And if your bail was paid by the bond agent, you will owe them the amount in question if you skip court. If someone cosigned your bail, they will be responsible for the money.
Mistakes happen. However, one of the most serious mistakes you should endeavor to avoid when charged with a crime is jumping bail. If you have to miss court for whatever reason, be sure to notify the court clerk before your court date.