Why skipping bail is not really an option

If this is someone’s first run-in with the law, a judge most likely will either offer personal recognizance where you may not even have to post bail but simply promise to show up to court or possibly have to post bail but it would be minimal as long as you show up as scheduled to the hearing. If however, a defendant does not show up to their hearing with no attempt to reschedule or reason for missing, the judge will take that as a breach of trust and when the defendant is re-arrested, the chances of the judge granting bail again will most likely be next to nothing. In many ways, bail is a privilege and if the judge now sees you as a flight risk, that opportunity will be gone or vastly more difficult to obtain.

Loss of bail money and collateral

Bail is expensive and that is on purpose. It’s done this way so that the defendant has a much stronger reason for showing back up to court so all that money is not lost. Even if someone employs a bail bondsman to negotiate a release at 10% of the bond cost, if the defendant does not show up the money lost will need to be reimbursed in some way. When this happens, it puts not only the bail bondsman but also any co-signers in a difficult position and most likely a bounty hunter will have to search for the defendant.

Co-signer will be on the hook

If a defendant is able to get a loved one to co-sign a contract or pay a cash bond to get them released, then that loved one will either lose the entire bond payment due to forfeiture to the courts if they paid a cash bond or they could possibly lose any collateral that was put up when dealing with a surety bond. Either way, when a defendant skips bail, it ends up really hurting the loved one who put their finances on the line to help.

Going to jail again

Even with all the other reasons given for why skipping bail is not a good idea, the main factor is if someone does not show up to their hearing, not only will the bond be forfeited but the judge will immediately issue a bench warrant and it will land the defendant right back in jail. Only this time, without the option of bail, further charges and a lot of money lost.
Overall, anyone would understand wanting to simply move on from a really hard situation and not wanting to deal with court hearings and such but the option of skipping those hearings just really isn’t an actual option because the outcome will just be so much worse than whatever the original issue was.

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