What Does Bail Jumping Mean?

A Defendant Stands Before a Judge in Court.

What does bail jumping mean?

If you fail to appear for your court date after posting bail, you are bail jumping. This is also known as failure to appear. Is jumping bail a crime? It is a crime in Virginia and the charges can vary, although contempt of court is common. Penalties could range from fines to jail time. Usually, you will also return to jail until your trial. It’s often difficult to get bail if you’ve failed to appear but if you need bail bonds services in Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, and Chatham, VA, you can get help from Affordable Bail Bonding by calling 434-237-2245.

What happens when a person jumps bail?

The consequences of bail jumping, a separate crime from the original charge, often include:

  • Forfeiture of bail bond: Normally, once you make your court appearance, the bail that was paid is returned. If you fail to appear, you or the person who put up the bail will not receive any money from the court.
  • Bench warrant issued: Most often if you fail to appear the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. You can be arrested at any time after that.
  • Jailed: Once you’ve been arrested on the bench warrant, it’s very likely you will be taken to the county jail and will have to remain there until your next scheduled court appearance. Because you might now be considered a flight risk, a judge might not set any bail amount for your release.
  • Additional penalties: Because bail jumping is a separate crime, you will at the very least be fined for contempt of court or you might receive jail time or both in addition to any penalties if you are convicted of the original crime.

What does forfeited bond mean?

When bail jumping occurs, in most cases the court will not refund the bail money put up to get you out of jail. This is forfeiture of the bond. If you used a bail bonds agent, the bail bond agent is then responsible for paying the full amount of the bail. What usually happens, in this case, is that the bond agent will go after the defendant or hire a bounty hunter to bring the defendant into court.

How much time can you get for bail jumping?

If you’ve failed to appear for a court hearing in Virginia, you’ve committed a crime that can have severe consequences. You’ll be penalized even if your original case is dismissed. At the very least you will receive a citation for contempt of court which has fine of up to $250 attached along with up to 10 days in jail.

If your original case is not dismissed, your bail jumping sentence will fit the category of your original charge. If the original charge is a misdemeanor, the skipped bail charge will also be a misdemeanor charge. Similarly, it will be a felony charge if your original charges are a felony.

A misdemeanor failure to appear charge is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines, while felony failure to appear is punishable by one to five years in jail and $2,500 fines. These sentences are in addition to sentences from the previous crime.

Is bail jumping a felony?

In Virginia, bail jumping can either be a felony or misdemeanor charge, depending on what your original charge was. This is the way failure to appear is handled in most states. Fines and jail sentences will vary depending on the charges. At the very least you will get cited with contempt of court. If you are on probation at the time, your probation will be suspended.

Bail jumping and failure to appear

Bail jumping or skipping bail are just terms for the offense of failure to appear. If you do not make an effort to appear in court after you’ve been bailed out of jail, you are in violation of failure to appear and have jumped or skipped bail. If you miss a court date or believe you might do so, you must have a valid reason for doing so. You should always contact the court beforehand, and preferably contact your attorney, as well as anyone who might be affected, including a bail bond agent.

A Man Sits in a Jail Cell.

Bail jumping no contact

In most cases, especially regarding drug cases and domestic violence, judges set conditions you must abide by or you’ll have your bail revoked. No-contact orders are the most common of these conditions. These orders limit how close you can be to a particular person or people once bail is posted. You might be ordered to keep at least 500 feet from an individual such as a spouse in a domestic violence case. If you violate this order, you will be charged with offense of bail jumping. This usually means your bail will be forfeited, and a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. This is an additional criminal offense, and will be prosecuted as such, and you might end up serving jail time for it. Even though it is often difficult to get bail for bail jumping in Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, and Chatham, VA, you can get help from Affordable Bail Bonding by calling 434-237-2245.