When being released on bail, you’ll be given a mandatory court date that you cannot miss. If you fail to appear before the court without making prior arrangements, you’ll be skipping bail (even if you don’t leave the area).

The first thing that happens when someone skips bail is that a judge will issue a warrant for their arrest. The warrant will allow law enforcement to look for you and, if they find you, to immediately arrest you on the spot. The warrant for a failure to appear does not go away, so there is no amount of time you can “hide” before the court loses interest.

The second thing that will happen is the forfeiture and revocation of bail. When bail has been revoked, it means that you will not only be taken to jail if you’re caught but that you probably won’t be eligible for bail again. In some cases, a person who skips bail and is re-arrested will be able to post bail again but at a much higher amount. This type of deal shouldn’t be counted on, though.

If anyone has money or property that they put up to bail you out of jail, that money or property will be forfeited to the court. Even if the court agrees to grant bail one more time, all of the resources related to the original bail agreement are lost.

Sometimes, life happens, and a person isn’t able to immediately meet their court obligations. In situations like this, it’s imperative that you contact your bail bondsman as early as possible. In some cases, court dates can be rescheduled (especially if you give them prior notice with a good reason). Regardless, it’s important your bail bondsman knows where you are at all times to avoid being charged with skipping bail.