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jump bail

v. to fail to appear for a court appearance after depositing (posting) bail with the intention of avoiding prosecution, sentencing or going to jail. Posting bail guarantees that the accused person will give up the money if he/she does not show up in court. It allows the accused person to remain free pending the final decision on his/her criminal case. In some circumstances a criminal defendant can be declared to have jumped bail even before missing an appearance in court, if it is discovered he/she has left the state, the country, disappeared or made plans to flee. At that point the court can revoke the bail and issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest. It is also called "skipping" bail.

See also: bail  bail bond  bail bondsman 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications