After a person is arrested and charged with a crime in Mercer County or elsewhere in New Jersey, they are typically released on the condition that they appear at all proceedings in their case. This scenario was historically referred to as being released on bail although recent modifications in the provisions for pretrial release have made actual posting of security (i.e. bail) is a rarity. A defendant is typically released with different conditions like electronic monitoring, periodic reporting or other requirements as opposed to posting money or bond. Irrespective, if someone released fails to attend a proceeding scheduled in their case they may be charged with bail jumping. Bail jumping is a serious offense that can dramatically complicate your legal situation because it results in an additional criminal charge with separate penalties. If you are facing a bail jumping offense in Trenton at the Mercer County Superior Court or, in the case of a disorderly persons offense, in a municipal court like the one in Hamilton, Ewing, East Windsor, Lawrence and Princeton, it is crucial that you retain a skilled criminal defense attorney to fight your charges. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall fit the bill in this regard with over a century of experience defending clients at the county courthouse in Trenton. Contact our firm anytime 24/7 for an immediate free consultation with a lawyer on our staff.Bail Jumping Charge
The offense of bail jumping is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:29-7. This law provides, in pertinent part, that:
A person set at liberty by court order, with or without bail, or who has been issued a summons, on the condition that he will subsequently appear at a specified time and place in connection with any offense or any violation of law punishable by a period of incarceration, commits an offense if, without lawful excuse, he fails to appear at that time and place.
Elements of Bail Jumping. In order for the state to obtain a conviction for bail jumping, the following four elements must be established.
- The defendant was charged with a crime;
- The defendant was released with or without bail on the offense;
- A condition was set that the defendant appear at a designated time and place related to the criminal charge; and
- The defendant had knowledge of the conditions of their release, including the obligation to appear at a specific time and place; and
- The defendant knowingly failed to appear at the proceeding without a lawful excuse.
Penalties for Bail Jumping. The penalties for bail jumping depend on the degree of the crime originally charged. When an individual is arrested for a first, second or third degree crime and engages in flight or hiding to avoid apprehension, trial or punishment, bail jumping on the charge is a third degree crime. Third degree bail jumping results in a fine of up to $15,000 and up to 5 years in state prison. Bail jumping on a crime of the first degree, second degree or third degree is otherwise a fourth degree crime punishable by up to $10,000 and 18 months in prison. Bail jumping is a disorderly persons offense when the required appearance is to answer a charge for a disorderly persons offense.Hamilton NJ Bail Jumping Defense Attorney
Not everyone who misses their court date in East Windsor, Hopewell Township, Hightstown, West Windsor, Pennington or even at the Superior Court is guilty of bail jumping. As you can see, there are five elements that must be established beyond reasonable doubt including an intentional non-appearance without a valid excuse. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will work diligently to defend your charge so that the offense is dismissed or reduced. An attorney is ready to provide a free initial consultation in our Hamilton Office by calling (609) 683-8102. Immediate assistance from a highly knowledgeable lawyer is available now.