NY Criminal Defense Lawyer

Bail Jumping / Failure to Appear


When you are released from jail pending a future court date, you are expected to return. If you fail to appear on that court date, you could be facing additional legal trouble. Under New York laws, you have 30 days to make things right. If not, you’ll be charged with bail jumping and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

We all make mistakes and we all miss appointments. But, when your appointment was with a criminal court judge in the state of New York, you’ll want to be certain that you do your best to reschedule! Though it’s tempting to avoid the problem and pretend like nothing happened, a bail jumping charge will catch up with you and the longer you wait to handle it, the more likely you’ll be penalized severely.

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NY Failure to Appear in Court Laws

Thirty Day Grace Period

Fortunately, the law in New York is somewhat understanding. If you fail to appear, you have a 30 day grace period before you are charged with bail jumping. This is why it’s crucial if you miss a court date that you try to make things right immediately. Contact your attorney as soon as you realize you’ve missed court to determine the best way to handle the mistake.

After the 30 day grace period has passed and you still haven’t made things right, a bench warrant will be issued and you will be charged with bail jumping. The charge you face is directly dependent on the case that was pending when you missed your court date.

New York Bail Jumping Laws and Penalties

Third Degree Bail Jumping

This is the most basic of bail jumping charges. It can be applied in any criminal case that you fail to appear on. Bail jumping in the third degree is considered an  A Misdemeanor charge and carries a potential penalty of up to one year in jail, though it seldom results in this maximum sentence.

Second Degree Bail Jumping

If the court date you missed was for a felony charge, you can face charges of bail jumping in the 2nd degree. If you fail to appear voluntarily within 30 days after the missed court date, you could be charged with this E Felony charge, carrying up to 4 years in prison.

First Degree Bail Jumping

If you missed a court date for an A or B Felony charge you will face charges of bail jumping in the 1st degree. This is a serious D nonviolent felony charge and can carry several years in prison in addition to any sentence you receive on the original case.

Ref: NY State Law 215.55-.17

Judges are very cautious when releasing someone on bail. They want to know that you don’t pose a risk to the community and that you’ll return when required. When you fail to return on your court dates and fail to make things right within the 30 day grace period, you can trust that the judge will have little sympathy.

Despite what you might think, you cannot keep running form a bail jumping charge. Eventually you will get caught. Working with your attorney to turn yourself in could potentially show the judge that you are ready to take responsibility for your mistake and could lessen the severity of the consequences of your actions.

If you missed a court date and are unsure of what to do, contact our offices today.