After being arrested for a crime, many people will seek a bail bond service to help get them out of jail fast. However, once out of jail doesn’t mean the situation is completely resolved. Once out of jail the next step is awaiting your court date. During that time you can prepare and seek legal counsel for the appointed court date. Missing the appointed court date or hearing has a number of consequences. For those unfamiliar with the crime and penalties when missing your court date, we have provided a few below.
Promise to Appear in Court
When arrested and processed out of jail, a court date is given where you as the defendant will need to appear in court. At this hearing the actions of the crime will be given penalties which can include fines, jail and or a prison sentence. Once arrested, the first step is to get out of jail. Often a bail bondsman is sought out to help reach bail. When being released, the police officer will have the defendant sign a PTA (Promise to Appear) form. The form will have the date, time, and location of the court hearing.
Bench Warrant for Failure to Appear
For some, attending their court hearing and receiving a punishment for past actions may not sound ideal. However, it is a crime not to attend the appointed court date. When missing your first court date, very often the court will first note the absence and then reschedule the court date. They can also issue a bench warrant with discretion which will be sent to the arresting officer. A bench warrant is a type of warrant that is issued by the presiding judge which allows the police to arrest the accused who failed to appear in court. At that time, additional charges are added, such as FTA penalties. Additionally the court can change the fine of the accused as well as the jail sentences and even revocation of the bond and the condition of their release. If the court date was accidentally missed, if there is a reasonable excuse as to why a person can’t make their court date, or if one is running late, it is essential to contact the court. If the court date was missed entirely, then contact a criminal defense attorney right away. The attorney can contact the court and help prepare a reason or defense for your absence and prevent the warrant from going out.
Jumping Bail Consequences
When the accused chooses to run and fails to appear for their court date, that most often will change the terms of the bail. Often the bail bondsmen will hire a bounty hunter to locate and retrieve the runner. When applying for a bail bond, often some collateral is required. The bail bond agency can collect the collateral if the person fails to appear in court or skips the terms of the bail. Failure to appear on the scheduled court date will add additional consequences to the fines, or punishment of the accused. It is far better to attend your court date with the aid of a defense attorney as the consequences of past action can be less severe.