If you missed a court date, then the court can issue a warrant for the failure to appear. It is important to surrender on that warrant within 30 days so that you do not set yourself up for additional charges of bail jumping. An attorney can help you decide the best course of action after missing a court date.
The degree of the charge and the potential penalties that might apply depend on the charge pending at the time of the failure to appear in court. That underlying pending charge determines which degree of bail jumping the defendant may be charged with. Bail jumping can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor offense depending on the classification of the underlying charge.
Many of the District Attorneys throughout New York City, including in Manhattan, aggressively pursue additional charges for bail jumping through their Fugitive Enforcement Program. You also need an attorney focused on resolving these types of cases working to protect your rights.
If you are charged with bail jumping or failing to respond to an appearance ticket under Penal Law § 215.59, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Manhattan and throughout New York City. The crime can be charged in the first, second or third degree.
Many important defense exist to fight this serious charge so contact an attorney to find out what you need to do now to protect yourself. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your case.
The thirty-day grace period applies regardless of whether the defendant personally returns to court or is arrested and thereby returned to court.
Because no proof of any culpable mental state is required, the crime of bail jumping is a strict liability statute. However, regardless of the thirty day frace period, the court can still forfeiting bail on the date the person was required to appear personally in court but failed to appear.
The degree of the charge depends on the underlying charge pending at the time the defendant failed to appear in court. Bail jumping can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor offense.
A person is guilty of bail jumping in the third degree under § 215.55 when by court order he has been released from custody or allowed to remain at liberty, either upon bail or upon his own recognizance, upon condition that he will subsequently appear personally in connection with a criminal action or proceeding, and when he does not appear personally on the required date or voluntarily within thirty days thereafter.
Bail jumping in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor. The crime occurs if the defendant is released on bail or upon his or her own recognizance and thereafter fails to appear personally “on the required date or voluntarily within thirty days thereafter.”
The degree of the bail jumping depends on the underlying charge pending at the time the defendant jumped bail. The crime of bail jumping in the third degree applies when a person is charged with any offense in a criminal action or proceeding.
The crime of bail jumping in the second degree applies when a person is charged with by “indictment” with a class A or B felony.
Bail jumping in the first degree applies only to a person ordered to appear on an “indictment.” If the person is ordered to appear on a felony complaint then the person does not commit “bail jumping in the first degree” when an indictment is filed but he or she has not been ordered to appear on the indictment.
Penal Law Section 215.59 states that “in any prosecution for bail jumping … it is an affirmative defense that:
1. The defendant’s failure to appear on the required date or within thirty days thereafter was unavoidable and due to circumstances beyond his control; and
2. During the period extending from the expiration of the thirty day period to the commencement of the action, the defendant either:
(a) appeared voluntarily as soon as he was able to do so, or
(b) although he did not do so appear, such failure was unavoidable and due to circumstances beyond his control.
Standard Jury Instructions for Bail Jumping in the Third Degree – Visit the website of the New York State Unified Court System to find the standard jury instructions for crimes related to bail jumping and failing to appear in court.
If you were charged with bail jumping under New York law, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Find out the best way to resolve the case while asserting an aggressive defense. We represent clients after a failure to appear in court in a felony or misdemeanor case throughout Manhattan and the surrounding areas of New York City.
Call (212) 951-1300 today to discuss your case.
This article was last updated on Friday, July 8, 2016.