Bail Jumping In New York
After a criminal defendant is arraigned in court and the next court date set, they may be released instead of being required to stay in jail until the next court date. A person can be released on their own recognizance or on bail. If you are released, you will be required to comply with certain conditions. One of the things you are required to do after being released is to show up to court on your next court date. Failure to appear in court could result in you being charged with bail jumping. Bail jumping is a serious offense that can attract serious consequences. When charged with bail jumping, contacting a qualified criminal defense attorney who can help you develop a strong defense strategy is crucial.
The Different Kinds of Bail Jumping Charges in New York
In New York, bail jumping can be charged in three degrees (first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree). According to New York Penal Law section 215.55, you are guilty in the third degree when you are released from custody on the condition that you will appear in court on a particular date and you fail to appear on the required date. This form of offense is a class A misdemeanor.
According to New York law, you are guilty of bail jumping in the second degree if you fail to appear in court on the required date and you are facing a felony charge. This offense is a class E felony.
You are guilty of bail jumping in the first degree if you fail to appear in court on the required date and there is an indictment pending against you that charges you with a class A or B felony on the required date. This offense is a class D felony.
What Must the Prosecutor Prove?
Before you can be declared guilty of bail jumping, the following are the elements that the prosecution must prove;
- You were released by court order with or without bail
- You were required to appear in court on a particular date
- You intentionally failed to appear in court on the required date
The failure to show up must be intentional, meaning you must have known the court date and had the opportunity to appear but decided not to do so.
Defenses To Bail Jumping Charges
There are two main defenses to bail jumping charges. The first defense is that you did not know you were required to appear in court and/or did not receive proper notice. The other one is that you failed to appear because of unavoidable circumstances beyond your control.
Circumstances that could be considered ‘beyond your control’ include the following;
- You suffered a severe condition that required you to be rushed to the hospital
- You were caring for a sick child
- You faced severe weather conditions
- You were injured in a car accident
- You lost an immediate family member
Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney
Our skilled NYC criminal attorney, Mark I. Cohen, can help you if you are facing criminal charges or have missed a court date.