The offense of bail jumping arises when someone flees after being released on Bail or when someone fails to appear after being released pursuant to a court order which requires return for a later date. A charge for bail jumping can be serious as it almost always involves an indictable felony that carries the potential for years in prison. Beyond the penalties, bail jumping can present a litany of other problems for a defendant like causing the judge and prosecutor to become irritated by the perceived effort of the accused to thwart the criminal justice system by running. It is therefore important to retain an attorney with not only the knowledge and experience to effectively handle a bail jumping charge but also an individual with the finesse needed in defending this offense. Call the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall for an attorney that possesses this level of ability. Our Essex County attorneys know what it takes to reach a favorable outcome in a bail jumping case and are ready consult with you at our Newark Office or over the telephone at 973-710-1520. Take the first step in protecting your rights by calling us.

What is the Definition of Bail Jumping?

For the State to convict someone of Bail Jumping, under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-7, the Prosecutor must show that the defendant failed to appear without lawful excuse. To prove this, the Prosecutor must prove,  beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant:

  • Was set at liberty by court order;
  • Failed to appear in court despite the fact that his or her release from custody was conditioned on appearance in court;
  • Failed to appear at the specified time and place; and
  • Lacked a lawful excuse for his non-appearance.

In Essex County, and New Jersey generally, willful non-appearance is considered failure to have a valid excuse. In other words, an individual may only be convicted for bail jumping if they purposely did not appear. A common example of a lawful excuse would be if it is impossible for a defendant to appear because he is incarcerated or confined to a hospital.

What Grade of Crime Is Bail Jumping?

The grade or degree of a bail jumping offense an individual is charged with will depend on the grade of the underlying offense, which the defendant attempted to avoid. If the offense for which the defendant’s presence was required is a third degree or higher, then the bail jumping charge will be a third degree offense. It is fourth degree bail jumping to flee or intentionally fail to appear on a crime of the fourth degree. The bail jumping charge is a disorderly persons offense if the underlying violation is also a disorderly person. Lastly, it is a petty disorderly charge for bail jumping where the original charge was a petty disorderly persons offense.

What Penalties Will I Face If I Am Convicted of Bail Jumping?

Yes. If convicted of third degree bail jumping, you will be subject to three (3) to five (5) years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine. Conviction for a Fourth degree bail jumping carries eighteen (18) months in jail and a $10,000 fine. Lastly, a disorderly persons offense for bail jumping exposes you to a jail term that could reach up to six (6) months and a $1,000 fine.

If you have been charged with bail jumping, the overwhelming likelihood is that your case will be handled at the Superior Court in Newark. Our attorneys appear in this court almost daily and are extremely knowledgeable regarding the operation of the court. To reach an experienced bail attorney in Newark for a free consultation, call 973-710-1520.