Talking About Family Court Proceedings

Is It True Bail Jumping Charges Still Apply Even After Other Charges Are Cleared?

People who miss court dates are unpleasantly surprised to find themselves facing bail jumping charges even after their criminal cases resolve in their favor. Unfortunately, this is not a court mistake but the product of how bail jumping charges are handled. Here's what you need to know about this issue.

Bail Jumping Is a Separate Charge

Although bail jumping charges arise from your criminal case—since missing court dates is what prompted the new complaint—it is an independent charge unto itself that's handled in a separate trial that doesn't depend on the outcome of your original one.

It's understandable that many defendants are confused about this point because it's common for prosecutors to use bail jumping charges to strongarm them into accepting plea deals. However, if you go to trial instead and are exonerated (or the case is dropped or dismissed), you would still have to answer for the bail jumping.

So, it's entirely possible to be found innocent in your criminal trial but still go to jail for not showing up to court as required. However, bail jumping has its own set of proof requirements the prosecutor must meet to convict you of the crime, providing you with an opportunity to work with a defense attorney who may find ways to get the charge dropped.

The Charge Type Is Based on the Original Crime

Like other crimes, bail jumping comes in two flavors: misdemeanor and felony. Which one you're charged with is based on the severity of the original charges. If you were pulled into court for a misdemeanor, then the bail jumping charge would also be levied as a misdemeanor. A felony case would result in felony-level bail jumping charges.

Additionally, because bail jumping is an independent issue, you would receive a separate sentence for it if you're convicted. To make matters worse, some states require any jail time stemming from it to be served consecutively. So, if you were convicted for the original crime and given 5 years in jail and got another year for bail jumping, you would be locked up for a total of 6 years.

It's essential to work with a criminal defense attorney when you're facing down charges for a crime. The lawyer can anticipate issues like this and make a plan to address them all at once so you don't have to worry about being dragged into court over and over again. 

If you have additional questions about your own case, reach out to a local criminal defense law attorney.

About Me

Talking About Family Court Proceedings

Hello, my name is Bridget Waller. Welcome to my site about family court proceedings. My involvement in family court was not a welcome one. Despite the difficulties experienced during that time, I focused on building my knowledge about family court proceedings rather than let the process bring me down. I created this site to share my knowledge with you all, in hopes that I can help others navigate family court proceedings with ease. I will explore every phase of the court process in great detail to help others better understand the proceedings. Please come by my site regularly to learn more. Thanks.