Although the laws surrounding this type of offense varies from state to state, any person who decides to jump bail will: 1) forfeit their bond, 2) face additional criminal charges, and 3) continue to face their previous pending charges.
It’s a Crime
Most states define bail jumping as the act of not appearing for a scheduled court appearance after being bailed out of jail for any crime, and then not surrendering to authorities in a set time frame. But some states consider bail jumping an offense for felony-related arrests only. In any circumstance, failing to appear for a scheduled court hearing is a crime, even if a person is innocent of the initial charges for arrest. Skipping bail is a crime all in itself.
Defense for Skipping Bail
Generally, it doesn’t matter what excuse a person has for missing their scheduled court hearing, they will be held accountable for the offense one way or another. The only valid excuse would be a documented hospital stay, or proof of an uncontrollable situation that prevented a defendant from showing (i.e. being kidnapped or held captive, natural disaster, trapped in an elevator, etc.). But these are unlikely cases, and courts know this. Being sick, or simply “forgetting” are not valid excuses for missing a court date, so if it happens to you it is important to act fast and ask your lawyer how to resolve the issue properly.