When you are released on bond, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you appear in court at the said date. Failure to appear in court is a serious crime and you should avoid it all costs.
In almost all countries, failure to appear in court is a form of contempt of court and it’s usually punishable by law. If you had been released on bail, failing to appear in court results to the bail bond being revoked and the judge issues a bench warrant for your immediate arrest.
You should note that warrants given in court usually last forever; they don’t expire. This means that you can be arrested anytime. While the warrant lasts forever, it’s good to note that the penalties for failure to appear in court vary depending on the case at hand.
For example, if you had violated traffic rules before you were given the bond, failing to appear in court will result to issuance of FTA (failure to appear) warrant in your name. Once the warrant is issued, you will be arrested by any police officer. After arrest you can be issued with punitive fines.
On the other hand if you fail to appear in court after committing a criminal or civil case, the bond will be revoked and an arrest warrant issued. If you are arrested you will be denied any further bail until the conclusion of your case.
In civil cases, failure of your appearance will most likely result to an automatic judgment in the favor of the plaintiff. If you are the plaintiff and you fail to appear in the civil proceeding, the judge will dismiss your case.
Missing to appear by mistake
In some instances you may fail to appear in court by mistake. For example, you might forget that you were supposed to be in court. In such a scenario, you should contact the bondsman as soon as possible and the bondsman will give you a piece of paper that will allow the court to reinstate the bond and put the case back on the calendar.
The consequences of jumping bail are dire; therefore, you should make every effort to ensure that you attend court at the said date. While it’s recommended that you appear in court at the said date, you should not worry of missing a session if you have a valid reason.
Some of the valid reasons are: medical emergency and going to the wrong court room. To be on the safe side, you should produce documents to prove the reason.