Once the police arrest a person and charge him with an alleged offense, the judge may allow the defendant to post bail and secure release from custody pending his trial. The judge decides the bail amount after considering several factors like the seriousness of the crime, the likelihood of the defendant feeling, the chances of the defendant committing further crimes or tampering with evidence, etc. The judge is free to set any bail amount as long as it is not “excessive” or deny bail altogether.
Bail Vs. Bail Bond
While many people use the terms “bail” and “bond” interchangeably, they are not the same. While bail is the money the defendant must pay to get released from jail, a bond is a guarantee the defendant can purchase from a bail bond company or a bail bondsman if he does not have the required amount.
According to Justia, the bail bond company charges a commission, usually 10% of the bail amount, and may require additional collateral. If the defendant jumps bail or violates any condition of the release, the court will forfeit the bail money or ask the bond company to pay the bond amount in full. The court will also ask the police or the bond company to take steps to take the defendant into custody.
Purpose of Bail
The court seeks money to ensure the defendant appears before the court and abides by the specified conditions when out on bail. If the defendant jumps bail or violates the bail conditions, the court will order his re-arrest and forfeit the bail amount. According to Connecticut Bail Bonds, in case, a bail bond company has issued a bond, it will need to pay the court.
Charges for Jumping Bail
Bail jumping happens if the defendant fails to appear in court as ordered and fails to surrender. While the defendant will still have to face the original charges, jumping bail may entail additional charges. If you jump bail and do not surrender, the judge may issue a bench warrant for contempt of court. You will be re-arrested and sent to jail without any opportunity for bail again. Bail jumping is an offense in some states if the defendant faces felony charges, but in others, the nature of the charges does not matter. The charges for jumping bail differ, depending on the original charges.
Defense Against Bail Jumping
For a bail jumping charge to stick, the prosecution must prove that you ignored a court order intentionally. They must prove you received the court notice informing of the date of appearance. You may still be able to defend yourself by proving you could not attend the court despite receiving notice due to extenuating circumstances. Such circumstances may include sickness, extreme weather, accidents, other court appearances, the death of a loved one, etc.
The defendant must not treat bail lightly and take all steps to appear before the court on the scheduled dates. By jumping bail, he will forfeit the bail money, be liable for re-arrest, and be charged with additional charges. The defendant’s record will also become tainted, and he will find it difficult to obtain bail in the future.
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