If an amount of money was given to the court to assure that you would show up for your court hearing, it is called being out on bail. Any time you are arrested and released before going to court about the matter, you are being released either on bail or into someone’s custody. You can be released into your own custody as well. If you do not show up for court, you are considered to be jumping bail and listed as a failure to appear (FTA). Going into FTA status has a number of consequences you would do best to avoid.
Forfeit of Bail Posted
If you had to post bail to be released, the money that was paid to the court stays with the court. Had you gone to the hearing, your bail money would have been returned to you minus any administrative fees. If you posted your own bail, you are just out the money. If someone else posted your bail, they might be more than a bit upset at losing the money and try to convince you to turn yourself in if they know where you are. If you used a bondsman to post your bail you can be sure that someone will come looking for you and they will drag you back to jail to await a new trial.
No matter who paid the bail, the court will attempt to find you as well. A warrant will be issued for your arrest and police will be knocking on your door. If you are not home, they will go to your place of work or your school and take you from there to the police station or county jail. If you are actively hiding and trying to avoid the police, you can be sure they will be looking for you.
Bounty Hunters and the Police
Unless the crime was serious or of an extremely violent nature, the police might not do anything more than go to your home and place of work. However, if you are stopped for anything as simple as jaywalking you will be taking back to jail. If you are in a car and the driver is pulled over for a traffic violation, you will be asked to show your ID and then taken back into custody.
If you used a bail bondsman for your bail, you will have their bounty hunter out looking for you. They will stop at nothing to get you back to jail. They will look at your home, at your work, at the places your normally hang out and ask everyone you know where they might find you. Living with the bounty hunter on your trail is not a good way to live. You will most likely have to leave the area for any peace and change your name and possibly your appearance. The more money that was paid on your behalf, the harder they will look for you.
Very few people will get away with jumping bail any more. You are going to get caught and it will just cost you more money and more trouble. The best solution is for you to show up for your hearing and take your punishment.