If you are charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), the judge will most often release you on bail while awaiting the outcome of your case. This is not an acquittal. Rather, the court set forth the conditions you must meet for your bail to hold. One of these is showing up in court whenever you are required to do so.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the defendant to fail to appear. “Jumping bail” and missing your court date without a valid reason can cause legal and personal problems.
Understanding your obligations while on bail
It is important to understand that being released is a privilege. In granting this privilege, the court expects you to uphold your end of the bargain – obeying your bail terms. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may face misdemeanor charges if you jump bail.
But that is not all. Here are additional consequences you are likely to face if you jump bail:
- Your bond and bail money or the collateral you deposited with the court in exchange for your freedom will be taken
- A bench warrant will be issued against you
- You will spend the remainder of your time waiting for trial in jail
- You may have trouble getting bail in the future should you get in trouble with the law
- If you are lucky to get a second bail, the terms will be much stiffer (and this includes a higher bail amount)
Life has its share of uncertainties, and mistakes do happen. A medical issue or a family situation can prevent you from attending court. Or, you can simply forget your court date. Learning more about Texas criminal laws can help you defend yourself and protect your rights.