If you are indicted and charged with certain crimes, like drunk driving or theft, the court might set you free on bail while you await the outcome of your case. In this case, a relative or the bond company will deposit the bail money with the court before you can go home.
A bail comes with a set of conditions, however. One of these is your commitment to show up in court for your trial. Failure to show up in court when you should, known as jumping bail, is a big deal with serious consequences.
But how does bail work?
To understand why you should never jump bail, it helps to start off by understanding how bail works. To be released from custody after a formal charge, you have to give some form of collateral to the court. However, you cannot pay your own bail – someone has to do it for you. This can be a close relative or a bail bond company.
If you skip bail, therefore, the following are likely to happen to you:
Your bail money will be gone
The first consequence of skipping bail is the automatic loss of your bail money. And since your bail is paid by a third party, this means that you will owe them money.
You will go to jail
With your bail money forfeited, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest. And if your bail was paid by the bail bond company, they too will be coming after you. This means that you could end up spending the rest of your trial period behind bars. A great inconvenience if you think about it.
Being charged with a crime can be frightening, to say the least. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests when charged with a crime in Louisiana.