Failure to Appear in Court in Louisiana

 

Jumping Bail

 

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We Can Help - Lawyer for Failure to Appear

Failure to appear in court in Louisiana is considered a serious matter for judges. It has serious consequences that can affect a defendant’s freedom as well as the underlying case. If you have been charged with Failure to Appear in Baton Rouge or elsewhere in Louisiana, Carl Barkemeyer may be able to help you. He has helped hundreds of clients with failure to appear charges.

 

When a defendant is initially arrested on a charge, bail may be set and a bond posted which ensures that the defendant will appear to court after released on bond. When he/she doesn’t appear to court after receiving proper notice of the court date, he/she could be charged with failure to appear or Jumping Bail. This is a completely new charge. It is a misdemeanor if the underlying offense is a misdemeanor and a felony if the underlying offense is a felony. It is punishable by up to two years in jail.

 

Big Problems

 

Bench Warrant

Every case is different, especially when it comes to developing a strategy for dealing with the failure to appear.  Failing to appear to court leads to a bench warrant issued by the judge ordering the defendant’s arrest. Therefore, the defendant can be picked up in any state and detained. This is a very big problem for the defendant because he/she could be stuck in jail in another state waiting out the time to see if Louisiana will pick him/her up. The defendant could be in that jail for up to a month just burning time. This could all result from something as minor as a traffic stop after the bench warrant is issued.

 

Bond Revoked

If the defendant does not come back to court within six months, his bond could be revoked and he’d have to post a new bond, leading to more expenses.

 

Hurts Underlying Case

Another big concern for the defendant for failure to appear in Louisiana is that the judge may not want to give him probation if he was forced back into court. The judge might be worried he would abscond again and not do hi probation. This is where an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney like Carl Barkemeyer can help. We have dealt with these issues many times and helped get through them successfully.

 

Failure to Appear When No Bond Posted

 

The issue is different when a bond was not posted in a matter. In misdemeanor cases, the officer can issue a summons to the defendant to appear. Therefore, the defendant is not formally arrested and booked, requiring a bond to get out of jail. If the defendant doesn’t appear to court on a misdemeanor in Louisiana, he could be charged with Contempt by the judge. The judge could order a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to six months. If you get a contempt in Baton Rouge City Court or elsewhere, give us a call.

 

La RS 14:110.1.  Jumping bail

 

A.  Jumping bail is the intentional failure to appear at the date, time, and place as ordered by the court before which the defendant's case is pending. If the state proves notice has been given to the defendant as set forth in Code of Criminal Procedure Articles 322 and 344, a rebuttable presumption of notice shall apply, and the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to show that he did not receive notice.  The fact that no loss shall result to any surety or bondsman is immaterial.

 

B.  Whoever commits the crime of jumping bail when the bail is to assure the presence of the defendant for those cases defined as misdemeanors in this Title and in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law shall be imprisoned for not more than six months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both.

 

C.  Whoever commits the crime of jumping bail when the bail is to assure the presence of the defendant for those cases defined as felonies in this Title and in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than two years.

 

Added by Acts 1950, No. 385, §1.  Amended by Acts 1982, No. 523, §1; Acts 1993, No. 501, §1; Acts 2008, No. 54, §1.

 

§110.1.1.  Out-of-state bail jumping

 

A.  Out-of-state bail jumping is the intentional failure to appear, by leaving the state to avoid appearing in court, at the date, time, and place as ordered by the court before which the defendant's case is pending.  If the state proves notice has been given to the defendant as set forth in Code of Criminal Procedure Articles 322 and 344, a rebuttable presumption of notice shall apply, and the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to show that he did not receive notice.

 

B.  Whoever commits the crime of out-of-state bail jumping, when the bail is to assure the presence of the defendant for those cases defined as misdemeanors and felonies in this Title and in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law shall be fined two thousand dollars and imprisoned at hard labor for not less than one year nor more than three years.

 

Acts 2010, No. 215, §1.

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