top of page

“Bail Jumping:” What Is It and What Are the Consequences?

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, there’s the option to post bail and remain free until the court date. However, what happens if you do not appear in court when your trial begins?

Bail jumping is a serious and ill-advised practice that can land you or your loved one in even more trouble; it’s important to know what bail jumping is and what the consequences for doing so may be.

Bail jumping not only affects you but your bail bondsman as well. And if emergency bail bonds near you are what you need, the McAllen bail bondsmen at Anzaldua Bail Bonds can help.

What Exactly Is Bail Jumping?

The Texas Penal Code defines bail jumping as an offense committed by a defendant who “intentionally or knowingly fails to appear [in court] in accordance with the terms of their release.” Essentially, this means that an individual out on bail or a personal recognizance bond will face additional charges if they miss their court date.

Bail jumping is a distinct crime in Texas, which means it can be added as a separate charge to what you already face.

Despite the name, you should understand that bail jumping does not directly refer to someone who flees the jurisdiction. If you do not appear in court for whatever reason, it could be considered bail jumping.

That’s why it’s in your best interest to appear in court. However, let’s go through possible defenses before we discuss the consequences.

Can Bail Jumping Be Defensible?

Texas Penal Code Section 38.10 does allow for certain defenses of bail jumping. More specifically, there are two defenses a defendant can offer when they are accused of bail jumping:

  • You may argue that “the appearance was incident to community supervision, parole, or an intermittent sentence.”

  • You may also claim that “the defendant had a reasonable excuse for their failure to appear.” What is considered reasonable is up to the judge — not you.

Additionally, because bail jumping requires intent, you may be able to prove that you legitimately lacked the necessary knowledge to appear. However, this can be difficult without hard evidence.

What Are the Repercussions of Bail Jumping?

Finally, let’s address all the possible consequences that can result from bail jumping. Remember, as a distinct crime, you can be prosecuted separately for this offense, even if you were found not guilty of the original charges.

The punishments for bail jumping are as follows:

  • 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.

If you bail jump, you will also likely face financial consequences as you will not get the money back if you paid for the bond yourself. If you choose to use a bail bond service, a bondsman may demand repayment, seize collateral, or hire a bounty hunter to recoup their losses, so be careful!

Anzaldua Bail Bonds Near Hidalgo County Jail Has the Bail Bond Info You Need

If you find yourself in need of emergency bail bonds near you, look no further than the best McAllen bail bondsman at Anzaldua Bail Bonds.

We have the knowledge and talent to get you the help you need!

If you have questions about what could happen if you don’t appear in court or other bail bond issues, reach out to Anzaldua Bail Bonds near Hidalgo County Jail as soon as possible!

35 views0 comments


bottom of page