Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer

Bail Jumping


Bail jumping is considered to be a serious offense in Alabama. Many individuals in Alabama who have been charged with a felony are released on bail while waiting to stand trial. There is always the risk that a person released on bail will attempt to leave town and avoid showing up to court to face the charges brought against them.

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Whatever happened that lead to to skip your court date, it puts you in a tough position. You are considered a fugitive from justice, and it is only a matter of time before the police catch up with you. There are major penalties for any individual who gets released on bail and does not show up for their court date.

The best time to deal with an outstanding warrant or bail jumping charge is before the police find you or pull you over. Call immediately for a legal consultation. Of course, if you’ve already been arrested and locked up, there may still be options. But there is no time to waste in your defense.

Bail Jumping Laws in Alabama

Alabama legislators created a series of laws to help prevent people from jumping bail while waiting for their court date. The charges that a person who jumped bail can face are either bail jumping in the first degree or bail jumping in the second degree.

Bail jumping in the first degree is defined in Alabama law as a person who has been lawfully released from custody, with or without bail, on the condition that the individual will appear at a specified time and place that is in connection with the charge of either murder or any other Class A or Class B felony and the individual does not show at that specified time and place. Bail jumping in the first degree is considered a Class C felony offense. This offense will then be added to the list of charges the individual is already facing.

Bail jumping in the second degree occurs when an individual who is released from custody with or without bail under the condition that the individual will appear at a specified time and place that is in connection with the charge of committing a misdemeanor or Class C felony and does not show up at the appointed time and place. This type of offense is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor. This charge will also be added to the other misdemeanor or Class C felony charge. This can cause an increase in the severity of your punishment from the court.

Penalties for Bail Jumping

There are various penalties ascribed to each degree of bail jumping. Bail jumping in the first degree is considered a Class C felony. Class C felonies in the state of Alabama can have a maximum sentence of up to 10 years or a minimum sentence of less than 2 years, but more than 1 year. This sentence will be added to the first set of charges the individual is faced with. Along with this sentence there is a fine that an individual convicted of bail jumping must pay. The fines for a Class C felony are fairly steep at around $15,000.

Bail jumping in the second degree is a much less serious offense, as it is only considered to be a Class A misdemeanor. In Alabama, a Class A misdemeanor has a prison sentence of 1 year or less. You might also be required to pay a fine of $6,000.

Legal Defenses for Bail Jumping

Anyone who is facing bail jumping charges needs to hire legal representation immediately. A lawyer can help guarantee your trial is fair and that your constitutional rights are preserved. Lawyers typically use a defense strategy that is built on the individual’s missing the court appearance due to circumstances beyond their control. This is meant to demonstrate that you did not intentionally miss the court date, but that perhaps you were not clearly notified of the proper time of the hearing. Or there may have been a car accident that prevented you from getting there on time. This defense strategy can help avoid a conviction and the addition of extra jail time or fines added to your current charges.