How does bail jumping hurt your criminal case?
By Jonathan Blecher on February 16, 2023
If you are arrested and charged with certain criminal offenses like driving under influence (DUI), Florida courts might release you on bail while your case goes through the trial process. Before you are released on bail, however, the court will set the terms of your bond. You might have to deposit a monetary bond with the court in addition to other possible conditions like GPS monitoring/house arrest, drug testing, or supervision by a pretrial release agency. In state court, bail bond companies generally charge a fee (premium) of ten per cent of the monetary bond amount, while federal bonds carry a higher fifteen per cent premium. CLICK HERE to find out more about the bail bond process. The bail bonding company then posts the full bond amount with the court. You or a family member are required to sign a promissory note securing the bond amount. Sometimes, bail bond companies will accept a second mortgage on real property for this purpose.
As long as you appear when required, you’ll be fine. However, going MIA on your appearance dates is a big deal as far as the court is concerned.
Your obligations when you are out on bail
Being released on bail is a privilege which requires your appearance in court after sufficient notice and skipping out on a properly-noticed court date is a violation of the law in Florida. Depending on the circumstances, you might face misdemeanor or felony charges – in addition to the original charge that got you in court in the first place.
Alongside additional criminal charges, jumping bail can also result in the following consequences:
- You’ll forfeit the bond money or the collateral that you used to secure your release on bail
- The court can issue an arrest warrant against you
- Your pretrial release supervision can be revoked, which means jail time waiting for a trial date
- If you are lucky to secure a second bond, the terms will likely be stiffer and the bond amount higher
- Failures to appear are noted on your criminal history and this could impact release conditions on future criminal charges
Mistakes happen. However, one of the most costly mistakes you want to avoid when out on bail is missing your court dates. Find out how you can defend yourself and protect your rights if you’re charged with a crime in Florida.