Failure to Appear/ Bail Jumping

When you miss a court date you can’t always “make it up”. When you have been ordered to appear for court and then fail to show up, you could be facing additional criminal charges. Ohio judges expect people to show up for their “appointments”, particularly if they were granted bail.

We know that things come up. We understand that more than likely, you didn’t intend to miss your court date but possibly had no other choice. You may have had to travel, or moved out of state. Or maybe you were panicked about the situation, and made a bad decision. But now you may be facing criminal charges or have a warrant out for your arrest; we can help.


When a judge considers releasing you on bail, she mostly wants to know that you will return for future court dates. When you fail to return, it proves to the judge that they were wrong in thinking you were not a “flight risk”. No one likes to be wrong. So if you are caught, you will almost certainly be held in jail for some time, possibly for the entirety of the rest of your court case.

Will I get caught for skipping my Ohio Criminal Court date?

Very likely, eventually, yes. For a minor misdemeanor charge, their probably aren’t teams of law enforcement agents out looking for you. But any minor incident or interaction with local police or Ohio state highway patrol can get you arrested and thrown in jail. It could be a speeding ticket, or a broken tail light.

And it could be that you were just driving down the street, doing nothing wrong. Police have new license plate scanning technology that automatically reads license plates, and will flag any car or driver with criminal or license issues. If you own your car, your plate may be matched from Ohio BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) records and outstanding criminal warrant court data. A police officer with this system in his vehicle will instantly be alerted to pull you over.

The risks are just too great. If you are know you have an outstanding criminal warrant, you need to deal with it immediately, while you still have options and can negotiate a result that will keep you out of jail.

What Happens if I Miss A Court Date and they Call it Bail Jumping?

Your bail was a promise that you would appear. When you fail to show back up for court, this is called, “bail jumping”. While bail jumping will not get you additional criminal charges, it does have serious consequences.

When you fail to appear for a court date after being released on bail, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. If you used bail bondsmen, you can bet that the bondsmen will track you down so as not to lose their money.

In addition to the warrant, your bail may be forfeited. This simply means that the money or collateral that was put up for your release will be lost. The state will keep your bail since you failed to follow through on your promise to appear.

OH Failure to Appear – Laws & Penalties

An additional charge of failure to appear may be filed in cases where bail was not applicable. If your charge was one involving a serious traffic offense and you fail to appear, you may be charged with this violation. While you will not serve any jail time for this offense, you will immediately lose your driver’s license for a period no less than 30 days.

Ref: ORC 4510.22

Free Consultation on Ohio Failure to Appear in Court / Bail Jumping Charges

Many people think that a warrant for failing to appear will just “go away” or that they won’t get caught. They are wrong. Eventually the warrant will be served and the longer you wait to address the problem, the more serious the consequences.

There is no statute of limitations that will make this disappear. It could come back to haunt you years down the road.

But the good news is that we can often fix this problem. If you haven’t been arrested, I can help work out a deal to turn yourself, in, sometimes for little or no additional penalty. It really depends on the underlying charges you were facing, and the evidence against you, but we absolutely have many options available to us.

If you failed to show up for court and are now frightened and unsure of what to do, you should immediately contact a skilled attorney to discuss your options. We can put your mind at ease and give you the high quality legal counsel that you deserve.

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