Jump Bail Law and Legal Definition

Jump bail is a slang term for the act of posting a bail bond in a criminal case and then failing to appear in court as scheduled, therefore forfeiting the bail bond. Jumping bail refers to failing to appear in court with the intention of avoiding prosecution, sentencing or going to jail. After jumping bail , the court may revoke the bail bond and issue a warrant for the person's arrest.

In providing bail, the bail bondsman usually charges the accused a 10 per cent fee based on the value of the bond. As part of the arrangement, the accused must agree to his re-arrest by the bondsman in the event he jumps bail. When the accused skips on his bond the bondsman has only two choices: locate him, or pay out the face amount of the bail bond to the court. It is also referred to as skipping bail.