Bail Bondio

Bail Bond Jumping Laws

The term jumping bail comes from the usage of the word as "to evade," which came into use in the late nineteenth century. Jumping bail means to fail to adhere to the conditions that the court has released the accused under, which includes appearing at the set court date. Even as it is not a felony to fail to attend, it adds to the charge or charges in which a person is being held. This makes the outcome more severe than it would have been if the bail had not been jumped.

Many of those who choose to jump bail do so with the intentions of avoiding prosecution, imprisonment, and/or sentencing. For these reasons laws have been established with additional punishment for trying to outsmart the court.

In many circumstances the accused can be declared to have jumped bail even before missing the appointed court date, if he or she is found to have take the steps towards missing the court date appointed.

Those that jump bail give up the money amount of their posted bail. Then the court will revoke the bail and issue a warrant for the accused's arrest.

Federal Crime
The allowance of 18 USC 3146 makes jumping bail a Federal crime or offense for any person who has been released on bail and willfully fails to appear as requested. However a person can only be found guilty of jumping bail if specific points and facts can be proven. These include, one that the accused has been admitted to bail pursuant as to the order of a judge or magistrate of the court with the proper jurisdiction; two that the accused afterward fails to appear before a judge or magistrate of the court as required; and three that the accused did this act willfully and knowingly of his or her own accord.

Bounty Hunters
When the accused jumps bail, a bondsman (if used) may then contact bounty hunters to find the accused before the bail amount comes due. In many states this time is as little as three days, while other states give bounty hunters up to a year to find their catchings. If the accused is not found within the specified period of time, the surety company will gather the bond amount from the bondsman, who will collect the payment from the cosigner or take the loss. In the cases of a lien on property in the insurance of a bond, the bondsman will begin foreclosure proceedings.

Degrees of Bail Jumping
Bail jumping is punishable in three different degrees and vary accordingly. Bail jumping in the first degree is a court date absence on the most serious of felonies. To prove the accused guilty, the court must establish that the person is charged with a Class A or Class B felony, failed to appear in court at the set date, and failed to appear voluntarily in thirty days.

Bail jumping in the second degree can only be charge if the individual is charged with a felony, fails to appear at the appointed date, and fails to appear voluntarily within thirty days. This is classified as an E Felony Charge.

Bail jumping in the third degree is charged via any crime as well as failing to appear in court at the appointed date and failing to appear voluntarily within thirty days. This is classified as a misdemeanor charge.

Other resources
How do bail bonds work
Difference Between Bail and Bond
Bail Bond Rules