Bail Jumping in New York
What does it mean to fail to appear?
Is defined as the failure of an individual to appear at criminal proceedings when that individual was previously in custody. Whereas, failing to respond to an appearance ticket is when an individual receives written notice (appearance ticket) requiring that person to appear in connection to alleged criminal activity.
For bail jumping, New York law does not specifically require that a person be out on bail to be guilty of bail jumping. If an individual is required to make an appearance, is released with a written promised to return instead of bail, that individual can still be charged with bail jumping if they fail to make an appearance.
If an individual fails to make an appearance on a specified day, that individual must voluntarily appear within 30 days or face the charge of bail jumping. However, the law also allows for certain defenses to bail jumping.
2. Failing to Respond to an Appearance Ticket
Is similar procedurally to bail jumping. If an individual receives an appearance ticket, often referred to as a summons, and does not personally make an appearance within 30 days of the specified, they will be guilty of failing to appear.
In short, if you are ordered to make an appearance, and you fail to do so within 30 days of the specified date, you may be charged with a crime of failure to appear.
Here is a List of Some Situations Where Failure to Appear Charges May Be Filed
- An individual previously in custody for a burglary charge is released on bail and fails to make an appearance on the specified court date and does not voluntarily appear within 30 days.
- An individual previously in custody for driving while intoxicated is released with a written promise to return and fails to make an appearance on the specified date or within 30 days.
- An individual receives written notice that they must personally appear in connection to unreturned public library books and fails to appear within 30 days of the specified date on the appearance ticket.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime of failing to appear in New York, please call our offices today. Our attorneys are skilled and experienced and can help you!
What are the Failure to Appear in Law in New York?
New York has several statutes that stipulate the circumstances in which an individual will be guilty of failure to appear.
Bail jumping in the third degree
Someone will be guilty of bail jumping in the third degree if that individual is released from custody for a criminal offense and does not appear within 30 days of the specified time. This is considered a class A misdemeanor.For example, failing to make an appearance for a charge of driving while intoxicated, may result in charge of bail jumping in the third degree
Bail jumping in the second degree
This is substantially similar to bail jumping in the third degree, except this is if someone fails to appear and the crime is a felony. This is considered a class E felony.For example, failing to make an appearance for a charge of labor trafficking, may result in charge of bail jumping in the second degree
Bail jumping in the first degree
Again, this is very similar to both bails jumping in the second and third degree. However, if an individual fails to appear and the crime is a class A or class B felony, it will be considered bail jumping in the first degree. This is considered a class D felony.
For example, failing to make an appearance for a charge of kidnapping, may result in charge of bail jumping in the first degree.
Failing to respond to an appearance ticket
An individual will be guilty of failing to respond to an appearance ticket if they are personally served with an appearance ticket from a public officer and do not make an appearance with 30 days of the specified date on the appearance ticket. This is considered a violation.4
For example, if an individual is personally served a written notice to appear for a traffic violation, and fails to make an appearance, it may result in charge of failing to respond to an appearance ticket.
It is important to note that New York law has also provided some defenses to each of these statutes that will allow an individual to have these charges dropped. However, it is up to the individual to show that they unable to attend for circumstances beyond their control.4
What crimes are related to New York’s failure to appear crimes?
Oftentimes, when an individual is charged with a crime, it will also include several other charges. Sometimes, if an offense was repeated before being charged, that person may be facing multiple instances of the same charge.
When it comes to failure to appear crimes in New York, there are not too many related offenses to these specific charges. However, there are federal law counterparts that are very similar to the failure to appear crimes in New York.
- First, New York law stipulates those that are out on bail and fail to appear, will lose their bail money. These amounts can be substantial and are often not recoverable. Even if you had good cause for failing to appear, the remission process has a narrow window, and you are unlikely to recover your entire bail amount.
- Another New York law stipulates that if an individual is out on bail or being released with conditions, that can be revoked if certain concerns arise. This will likely be invoked with individuals who are prone to bail jump or have a history of offenses.
- The federal laws are substantially similar to New York’s bail jumping laws. However, federal law has an important distinction to its New York counterparts. It requires that the individual knowingly failed to appear before the court.
However, it is unlikely that an individual who is released from custody would not be aware of the requirement to appear and when that would take place. Though, it may occur in some rare situations.
- Also, federal law also stipulates that those who are out on bail and commit another crime can be charged with another crime. This comes with a penalty that will be in addition to penalties for the crimes committed. It is possible that an individual who commits a felony while out on bail could receive an additional 10 years in prison.
Suffice it to say, if you have been charged with local and federal crimes, and fail to make an appearance to the court, you could be facing several additional charges.
How have the courts interpreted New York’s failure to appear laws?
The New York statutes seem to be clear and not vague. However, the courts have looked at a few ambiguities with these statutes and made a determination of how these statutes should be interpreted.
In People v Giusti, a New York court decided that even if an appearance ticket is defective, it does not mean that the reason you received the appearance ticket is invalid.
Paolo Giusti was the owner of a building and received an appearance ticket for a couple of administrative violations.
The appearance ticket only had numbers to indicate the date, and there was no information at which number correlated with a month or day. This ambiguity caused Giusti to believe it could be either January 8, 1998, or August 1, 1998. Giusti called city officials and was told to report to the court on the day the case would be adjourned.
He appeared before the court on Feb. 3, 1998, and wanted the appearance tickets to be declared defective and due to their defectiveness, it should invalidate the administrative violations. The court agreed that appearance tickets were defective but did not invalidate the administrative violations that were brought against Giusti. Therefore, the court ruled that the administrative violations could proceed.
To read the case in full, please click here. Or copy and paste the link below https://www.leagle.com/decision/1998553176misc2d3771491 .
In People v. Eiffel, the court determined that an individual may still be guilty of bail jumping if the charges are no longer pending. In this case, the defendant was charged with multiple crimes with varying degrees of felonies. The defendant was charged with both a class A and class B felony. Both of those charges resolved before 30 days had elapsed. The defendant never made an appearance.
The defendant was arrested and charged with bail jumping in the first degree. The defendant conceded that he was guilty of bail jumping, but since the class, A and class B felony charges had resolved before the 30 days were up, that it should be replaced with bail jumping in the third degree which has substantially lesser penalties.
The court rejected this argument and stipulated that the statute never intended the statute only to affect individuals that have pending charges. The statute’s language states that it is in connection to such a crime. The appearance was in connection with the crime. Therefore, his failure to appear can be considered bail jumping in the first degree.
To read this case in full, click here. Or copy and paste the link below. https://casetext.com/case/people-v-eiffel
In People v. Landy, the court determined that the crime of bail jumping is not a “continuing offense.” In this case, the defendant was charged with a variety of crimes. He failed to make an appearance, and a warrant for his arrest was issued. The police used reasonable efforts for a time to locate the defendant, but he was never located.
Nearly 6 years later, the defendant was located and arrested and charged for bail jumping. Defendant insisted that the 5-year limitations had past and he no longer could be charged with bail jumping. The people argued that since police had used reasonable efforts to locate the defendant and he was charged as soon as he was located, that it should extend the statutory period.
The court agreed with the defendant and stated that the bail jumping offenses were never intended to be “continuing offenses.” Also, they did not find that the police used extensive efforts to justify the extending of the statutory limit in this situation.
To read the case in full, click here. Or copy and paste the link below. https://casetext.com/case/people-v-landy-1
Who is involved in investigating failure to appear crimes?
In New York, the New York Police Department is the primary agency that investigates, arrests and charges individuals with failure to appear crimes. Depending on the crimes involved, such as federal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation can also become involved in these cases.
The investigation is most often limited to locating the individual rather than finding out why the individual failed to appear. This is due to the burden being on the defendant to show why they did not appear before the court.
What are the penalties for failure to appear?
The penalties for bail jumping and failing to respond to an appearance ticket are varied.
A violation penalty for failing to respond to an appearance ticket can result in a maximum penalty of fifteen days in jail. Whereas, a penalty for bail jumping in the first degree could result in a maximum prison sentence of up to 7 years with a 5,000 dollar fine.
Failure to appear charges, depending on the circumstance, could result in a 5,000-dollar fine and up to seven years in prison.
An individual that is charged with a crime of failing to appear can also have severe consequences in other aspects of their life. If one is charged with bail jumping, they may be denied bail in the future, which could cause substantial loss of work time.
It could prevent the ability to broker a deal with a bail bondsman. It may also cause defense counsel to have difficulties in negotiating plea deals or other arrangements. Also, any criminal charge is the impact on your family and loved ones. Additional charges of a crime for failure to appear could result in a longer prison sentence. This will just increase their hardships
What do I do now?
Due to the potentially severe consequences to all aspects of your life that could arise from charges of bail jumping and failing to respond to an appearance ticket, you need experienced and skilled attorneys to represent you and your loved ones’ interests best.
Our team of attorneys are knowledgeable with the law and will seek to help throughout the entire process. The consequences of going without legal counsel can be dire. We strongly recommend that you seek excellent legal counsel to assist you throughout this difficult process.