Bail jumping occurs when a defendant who has been released from custody fails to appear for a court date, and it is a serious offense that can result in significant penalties. 

If you’ve been charged with this crime, contact an experienced Louisville bail jumping defense attorney to help you craft a strategy to reduce or dismiss the charges. 

What Is Bail Jumping Under Kentucky Law? 

Under Kentucky law, bail jumping is defined as intentionally failing to appear in court after being released from custody. 

The elements of the offense are:

  • The defendant was released by court order with or without bail;
  • The defendant was required to appear in court on a certain date;
  • The defendant intentionally failed to appear in court on that date.

It is important to note that the failure to appear must be intentional, meaning the defendant knew of the court date and had the opportunity to appear but chose not to do so.

The severity of the offense depends on whether the defendant jumped bail after committing a felony or misdemeanor. The crime is charged as bail jumping in the first degree if the underlying offense is a felony. It is charged as bail jumping in the second degree if the underlying offense is a misdemeanor.

What Are Some Defenses to Bail Jumping Charges?

There are several defenses that a defendant charged with bail jumping can raise, including:

  • Lack of notice: If the defendant did not receive proper notice of the court date, they may be able to argue that their failure to appear was not intentional.
  • Inability to appear: If the defendant was unable to attend court due to circumstances beyond their control, such as illness or incarceration in another jurisdiction, they may have a defense to the charge.
  • Mistaken identity: If the defendant was not the person who was supposed to appear in court, they may be able to argue that they should not be held responsible for the failure to appear.

An experienced Louisville criminal defense attorney will evaluate the facts to identify how to defend you against bail jumping allegations.

What Are the Penalties for Bail Jumping?

The penalties for bail jumping in Kentucky can be severe. 

In some cases, the offense is classified as a Class D felony, which carries a potential prison sentence of one to five years. Additionally, the defendant may be required to pay fines and restitution, and their bail may be revoked.

How Can a Louisville Bail Jumping Defense Lawyer Help?

If you have been charged with bail jumping in Louisville, Kentucky, it is important to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and can work to build a strong defense against the charges. 

Some of the ways that a defense lawyer can help include:

  • Investigating the circumstances surrounding the alleged failure to appear
  • Reviewing the notice of the court date and other documentation to determine if proper procedures were followed
  • Identifying any potential defenses to the charge, such as lack of notice or mistaken identity
  • Negotiating with prosecutors to try to get the charges reduced or dismissed
  • Representing you in court and advocating for your rights

Bail jumping is a serious offense in Kentucky that can result in significant penalties. If you have been charged with this crime, you need to understand your legal rights and options. You should work with an experienced Louisville criminal lawyer who can help you build a strong defense. With the right legal representation, you can fight the charges and protect your freedom and future.