Houston Criminal Law Blog

EXPERIENCED. AGGRESSIVE. HOUSTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

Can Bail be Revoked?

When a defendant in a criminal case does not show up for a scheduled court hearing or misses a court-brokered appointment, he is said to have “jumped bail.” In most jurisdictions, defendants who jump bail may be charged with the crime of “failing to appear.” The judge who presides over the case will usually revoke a defendant’s bail and order him to return to jail to await his trial.

A defendant who jumps bail is incarcerated immediately after arrest and is not given the opportunity to post new bail. Bail may also be revoked for people who commit crimes while awaiting trial or violate case-specific bail conditions.

The Protocols for Revoking Bail

If a defendant intentionally fails to make a scheduled appearance in court, his bail may be revoked, and a warrant may be issued for his arrest. Before agreeing to revoke bail, some judges may demand proof that the defendant’s bail violation materially affected the outcome of the case.

A defendant who commits a new crime after he is released on bail will likely face bail revocation as well. During the arraignment process for this new charge, the presiding judge may deny the defendant’s request for bail and effectively force him to remain incarcerated while he awaits trial for the first criminal charge. The penalties for violating bail include forfeiture of the cost of bond, hefty additional fines and potential time in confinement.

Procedures for Bond Forfeiture

Bond forfeiture is a common consequence of bail revocation. When a judge determines that a defendant is guilty of intentionally violating bail, he will move to seize the full amount of bond that was posted by the defendant. Depending upon the total value of the bond, this can often result in extreme financial difficulties for him.

Once the court has chosen to seize the defendant’s bond, it must give notice of this decision to the defendant as well as his bail bondsman. There is typically a grace period that allows the bail bondsman or defendant’s counsel to bring forth evidence that contradicts the court’s decision.

Bail Remission

In certain cases, a person may be entitled to a refund of his bail even if he is ordered to return to jail. This is known as bail remission. A defendant must log his request for bail remission within a year of his initial bail revocation. This type of request may be granted for several reasons, some of which include:

  • The defendant jumped bail due to incapacity.
  • The defendant’s bail violation had no effect on the case’s outcome.
  • The defendant received contradictory or unclear instructions about the terms of his bail.

To learn more about the consequences of jumping bail, please pick up the phone and contact attorney Matthew Sharp.

Call Sharp for a free consultation 713-868-6100
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