Outside of extreme circumstances, anyone accused of a crime in Texas has the opportunity to post bail and stay out of jail until their trial. While the bond payment system is a promise to return on your court date, what happens if you do not show up?
Bail jumping is an unwise choice to make that can have a huge negative impact on your case and charges. Because it can put you or a loved one in more trouble, it’s key to understand what bail jumping is and what consequences come of it.
A-Quick Bail Bonds, your bail bondsman near you, is here to explain what bail jumping is and how it can affect your situation.
Bail Jumping Explained
Texas law describes bail jumping as an offense that occurs when a defendant “intentionally or knowingly fails to appear [in court] in accordance with the terms of their release.” If someone free on bail or a personal recognizance bond does not show up in court, they will likely see more charges.
Bail jumping can be included as a separate charge because it is known as a distinct crime in Texas.
It’s important to realize that bail jumping covers more than just a defendant who leaves the jurisdiction. Regardless of where you are or what the reason is, it can be deemed bail jumping if you aren’t at your trial.
No matter what, you should do everything in your power to appear in court, however, there are some possible defenses.
Defenses for Bail Jumping
Believe it or not, Texas Penal Code Section 38.10 does allow for a few defenses of bail jumping. To be exact, there exist two allowances for bail jumping:
You may claim that “the appearance was incident to community supervision, parole, or an intermittent sentence.”
You may argue that “the defendant had a reasonable excuse for their failure to appear.” Just remember – you don’t determine what is “reasonable” – a judge does.
It is possible to prove that you credibly did not have the necessary information to appear in court as bail jumping requires intent. This is hard to accomplish without hard evidence, however.
How Bail Jumping Can Worsen Your Situation
Now, let’s talk about the potential repercussions that you could face for bail jumping. As we mentioned earlier, you can be prosecuted separately for the offense of bail jumping. This means you may still be in legal trouble even if found innocent of the original charges.
Here are the exact consequences of bail jumping:
Treated as a Class C Misdemeanor (punishable by fine) if the initial charges were only punishable by a fine.
Treated as a Class A Misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in jail) if the initial charges were above a Class C Misdemeanor but below a felony.
Treated as a Third-Degree Felony (punishable by two to ten years in jail) if the initial charges were also felonies.
Bail jumping frequently results in financial hardships as well because you won’t get the bond money back from the courts. In the event you hire a McAllen bail bondsman, they may demand to be repaid in full, seize collateral, or enlist the services of a bounty hunter – be careful!
A-Quick Bail Bonds Near Hidalgo County Jail Has the Emergency Bail Bonds You Need
If you find yourself in need of emergency bail bonds near you, turn to the professionals at A-Quick Bail Bonds near the Hidalgo County Jail.
Our experienced bondsmen have the knowledge and skill to help you or your loved one!