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Understanding Failure to Appear Bail Bonds

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Failure to Appear crimes

Police arrest more than 10 million people a year. While not every one of those people will need to post cash bail, many will get ordered to appear in court at a later date.
If you failure to appear, you’re risking getting charged with failure to appear. This is also known as bail jumping. 
Many people don’t show up in court. Some have excuses, but not every excuse will fly in court. A judge can issue a bench warrant in response to your failure to appear. 
Read on to find out everything about the possible consequences of a failure to appear in court.

What You Lose By Failing to Appear

Let’s say you get arrested for DUI in Connecticut. The judge then sets a bail amount of $3,000.
Many people cannot afford to pay that amount. A bail bonding agency can help in those circumstances. 
You may be able to pay a percentage of the bail to the bonding agency. For instance, a person with $3,000 bail might be able to pay $300, or 10 percent.
But your agreement with a bail bonding agency comes with certain circumstances. If you fail to appear, you risk violating the contract you signed with an agency.
That means you may not get the bail money you paid back later. Instead, you might forfeit that to the agency. 
There’s a financial hit, but it’s important to understand that you also risk losing your freedom by failing to appear. If you don’t show up, you can get hit with another charge.
And good luck getting a bail bond agency to work with you if you fail to appear. Bondsmen and women want to work with reliable clients. A person who fails to show up is unreliable by definition. 
Bail jumping can take you from a serious but manageable legal situation to one in which you’re no longer in control of your destiny. 

How to Get Out of Going to Court

If you’re released on bail but can’t show in court on the designated day, then what happens? That depends on why you didn’t show up.
For instance, going before the judge and saying you overslept isn’t likely to win you any points. But if your car broke down, that’s another matter.
The prosecution can’t throw the book at you if you have a legitimate reason not to show up. They must prove you failed to show up on purpose.
If you tried to show and didn’t make it, you may get granted some leniency. But that’s highly dependent on both the situation and they judge you’re appearing in front of.
What if your hearing’s date got changed at the last minute? If you weren’t notified of the date change, you should get another chance. 
Most judges don’t want to throw defendants behind bars for the heck of it. They know the current bail system isn’t perfect. But they expect you to abide by the rules of it as much as possible. 

Avoiding a Failure to Appear Charge

Your best bet at avoiding a failure to appear charge is not taking any chances. Plan ahead as much as possible. 
Getting arrested is stressful. But the time after you’re arrested and before you go to trial can feel even worse. 
If you have questions about the bail bonding process, we can answer them. Contact us today.  

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