Two Consequences Of Bail Jumping
Most people know that if they fail to appear for their court appointments after being bailed out of jail—also known as bail jumping—they will be arrested on the spot when they're found. However, here are two other consequences you may suffer if you don't show up to court as required.
Your License May Be Suspended
Any driving license you have may be suspended or revoked, depending on the state where you live and other details of your case. For instance, if your license is already suspended, the court will go to the next step and cancel it altogether.
License suspension and revocation prohibits you from driving and will lead to more criminal charges if you're caught operating a vehicle while your license is cancelled.
Additionally, you could be fired from your job if you drive commercial vehicles because many states require you to report the suspension to your employer. Even if you don't say anything to your boss, most companies do periodic reviews of employee driving records, so eventually they'll find out.
Be aware, the suspension may extend to other licenses you hold, such as for fishing and guns. If you want to avoid the loss of these privileges, it's essential you show up to your trial dates or follow up with the court as soon as possible if you miss one.
You May Be Fined
There are costs involved with litigating a criminal case, so it's common for courts to levy fines against defendants to alleviate some of those costs and to penalize them for failing to keep their promise to show up for their trials.
The amount you're charged varies from state to state and also depends on whether you were charged with a misdemeanor or felony. In Georgia, for instance, you'll be hit with a $1,000 fine if your original charge was a misdemeanor, but that jumps up to $5,000 if the crime was a felony.
If you paid bail directly to the court and the judge doesn't forfeit it, the fine may be taken out of that money before it's refunded at the end of your case. If you used a bail bond company to get out of jail, then you'll be billed directly for the fines and you'll typically have to pay them before having any privileges stripped from you reinstated.
Bail jumping creates a lot more problems than it solves. If you having trouble getting to your court appointments or think you'll miss one, contact the court immediately to make alternative arrangements.
For more information about bail jumping or help getting out of jail on bond, contact a local bail bondsman.