What Happens if You Skip Bail?
If you have ever bailed out a relative or friend, then you know there can be a lot of pressure to ensure that they show up in court at their scheduled dates. If the person decides to skip bail by failing to appear in court, a warrant will be issued for their arrest.
If you had posted bail for a defendant who has avoided their hearing or skipped town, you may have been somewhat in shock and a bit nervous. While it is unfortunate that the person you helped would take this course of action, the consequences may not be that bad for you as long as you are cooperating with the relevant authorities as they look for the suspect.
What is the Main Purpose of Bail?
In order to understand why you should not jump bail, you need to understand the basic purpose of bail. When you have been put in jail after being charged with a crime, you typically have to pay some money if you want to get out before your scheduled court date. However, the defendant cannot pay their own bail – they need to get someone to bail them out.
Most people contact a bail bond company that pays the full amount of their bail with the condition that they will show up for their court dates. Whoever posts the bail does not have to pay the full bail amount unless the defendant fails to appear in court. In some cases, assets, such as cars or homes, may be used as collateral.
If the defendant skips bail, the court usually gives the bail agency a few days to find the defendant and get them to go to court to “straighten things out.” If the defendant goes to court, the court charges a penalty in the form of a fine and gets things going. However, if the suspect does not honor their court summons within this period, the court will issue a bench warrant for their arrest and the bail bond agency may have to forfeit and proceed with collecting the bail bond amount in full.
Once the initial period lapses, the bail bond company will hire fugitive recovery agents to arrest the defendant and surrender them to the cops to ensure their future court appearance. Learn more about how bail bonds work here.
What Happens if You Skip Bail?
If you are out on bail, you can either choose to go to your scheduled hearings or fail to appear (skip court). So, what happens when you fail to appear in court?
- Loss of Money
- You May End Up in Jail
- The Court May Be Stricter with Your Case
- The Potential of Additional Penalties
- It Taints Your Record
- Inconvenience Your Friends and Relatives
1. Loss of Money
One of the main consequences of failure to appear in court is loss of the entire bail amount. When bail is allowed in your case, the court basically gives you an opportunity to get out of jail before your scheduled trial date. This means that you pay a certain amount of money to get out of jail, but you agree to adhere to the rules; that is how bail works.
Whoever bailed you out will lose every penny they spent on it. If the bail amount was paid by a bail bondsman, you will owe them money. If your bail bond had a cosigner, they become responsible for the bail money. Therefore, you must think about your cosigner because they will also be affected by your decision to jump bail.
You may lose a lot of money by skipping bail. It is important to take this factor into consideration and its potential consequence.
2. You May End Up in Jail
If you miss your court date in Michigan, your bail will be revoked and a bench warrant for your arrest will be issued. This means that you have to pay the bail bond amount in full. Moreover, the police will have the right to take all the necessary steps to bring you back. This may include entering your property and doing a search of your home or car.
While the police may not find you right way, if you get involved in an accident, run a red light, or are even falsely accused of CSC, (see what is criminal sexual conduct) your outstanding warrant will come up on their radar.
Bail bond agents also become aware when suspects decide to jump bail and the bail bonds are now their liability. As a result, the bail bond agency will now hire bounty hunters to look for you, which essentially means you are now on the wanted list.
Bail bond agents have the right to locate you and haul you to jail. It is better to attend court proceedings coming from home rather than jail, right? Failure to appear in court usually complicates your legal issues even more, and you don’t need more problems when you are already facing the initial charges.
3. The Court May Be Stricter with Your Case
When facing criminal charges, it is very important to hire the best criminal lawyer. However, it is essential to understand that even the top criminal lawyer in town may have limited options if you skip bail. In fact, your lawyer will tell you that jumping bail is a serious offense that should be avoided at all costs.
It is essential to consider how courts view the issue of jumping bail. Courts are typically more lenient to people who follow rules. Skipping court means that you did not honor the bail bonds procedure and have problems following rules. As a result, harsher consequences may be imposed for the charges you are facing.
For instance, the court might decide to deny such suspects bail bonds or plea bargains, which means that they may face steeper charges and more severe penalties. You can avoid these issues by simply going to your scheduled court hearings. Keep in mind that attending your hearings offers the best outcome for all charges.
4. The Potential of Additional Penalties
Courts may impose additional charges for skipping bail. As a result, in addition to your main charges, you may have to deal with more criminal offenses, which is never good. Such charges may result in a wide variety of implications and they can be very costly. You do not want to face more criminal charges than you are currently facing simply because you decided to jump bail.
Sometimes you may accidentally miss court due to legitimate or plausible reasons. In case this happens, it is essential to notify your lawyer immediately. Your criminal lawyer may be able to help you avoid additional charges by working things out with the court.
Keep in mind that courts prefer accountability and honesty over lies. Honesty usually yields better results in court.
5. It Taints Your Record
Jumping bail does not look good on your record because it shows a record of missed hearings, which is not favorable. If you face other charges in the future, courts will review your record when determining the bail amount.
If you had jumped bail in the past, the result will be a higher bail amount. Moreover, the court may also deny you bail due to several reasons, including a history of missed court hearings.
6. Inconvenience Your Friends and Relatives
Once you jump bail, you become a fugitive and the police, as well as a bail enforcement agent, will be invested in taking you back. Bail agents may contact your friends and family members to get a clue of where you may be hiding. This is an awkward situation because if they are hiding you or lying to the police to cover up for you, a friend or family member may face charges for helping a fugitive. Learn more about what it means when a detective calls you here.
Moreover, whoever put up collateral in the process of bailing you out stands to lose their money or assets to the bail bondsman simply because you failed to honor your bond. This can be deemed ungrateful, which can hurt the people who love and care about you. Earning their trust once again might prove to be an uphill task. Posting bail for you may also be more challenging for them in the future because people may deem you untrustworthy and likely to skip bail.
What Should You Do if You Inadvertently Miss Court?
Failure to appear in court in Michigan is not a good idea because it makes it look like you have skipped bail. If you miss your scheduled court hearings, contact Attorney Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC right away. Our law firm will help you handle this issue and ensure that you get the best possible results.