What Happens If You Fail to Appear After Being Released on Bail?

What Happens If You Fail to Appear After Being Released on Bail?

One of the conditions of getting out of jail while awaiting trial is the requirement to appear in court for all scheduled hearings. If you fail to show up, you could face further legal consequences on top of the ones you may be subject to for the offense you were arrested for. The exact actions that may be taken in your case depend on how you secured release from custody.

Failure to Appear After Being Released on Your Own Recognizance

Being released on your own recognizance means you gave your word that you would show up as required to court. You, therefore, did not pay any money to get out of jail. In this case, if you don't show up to court, you may be charged with failure to appear.

If the crime you were initially accused of was a misdemeanor, failure to appear is a first-degree misdemeanor. You face up to 180 days in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. However, if you allegedly committed a felony, failure to appear is a fourth-degree felony. The potential conviction penalties include up to 18 months in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines.

Failure to Appear After Paying Cash Bail

If you paid out of your own pocket to secure release from jail and you don't show up to court, several things may happen to you. The court may revoke your bail and issue a warrant for your arrest. This means that if a police officer stops you for any reason, even a traffic violation, they can arrest you and take you into custody.

Additionally, your bail money will be forfeit. This means that you won't get back whatever amount you paid to the court. Usually, when you show up to court as required, after your case, your bail money is returned.

Failure to Appear After Having a Bail Bond Agent Get You Out of Jail

The amount of bail the judge set may have been beyond your financial means. In this case, you might have turned to a bail bond agent to secure release from jail.

If you fail to appear in this situation, a warrant will also be issued for your arrest, and you can be brought back to jail. You will also be responsible for paying the bail bond company the balance for your bail. When you hired the agency, it might have charged you a small premium (likely 10% of your bail amount). In the contract you signed with the company, you agreed that would be all you owed should you show up for all scheduled court dates. You also stated that if you failed to appear, you would pay the remaining 90% for your bail amount.

Knowing your obligations in a criminal matter is important, as severe consequences can ensue if you fail to fulfill all your requirements. At Andy Callif Bail Bonds, we understand that this can be a confusing and stressful time for you, especially if this is your first brush with the law. That is why our experienced bail bond agents will take the time to review everything that's required of you throughout the process in Columbus.

To speak with us during a free consultation, call (614) 945-4334 or submit an online contact form.


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