Bail Jumping in Wisconsin
Bail jumping can arise on many levels and many situations in the state of Wisconsin. Bail jumping becomes a possibility as soon as someone is charged with any crime. Under Wisconsin Statute 946.49, anyone who intentionally fails to comply with the terms of his or her bond is guilty of bail jumping.
When someone is charged with a crime and they appear before a judge or commissioner at their initial appearance, the court will set a bail amount and conditions of bond, giving the defendant the opportunity to remain out of custody while their case is pending. This opportunity can come at a price. The court set will set a monetary amount for bail in the form of a signature bond or a cash bond. The cash bond will require the defendant to pay money in order to remain out of custody.
If the defendant is able to pay bail, then they must abide by their conditions of bond while out of custody. In all cases, there is a condition of bond requiring there be no other violations of the law—do not commit other crimes. In drunk driving cases, many courts will require absolute sobriety and no driving without a valid license. In cases involving a co-defendant or a victim, many courts will put a no-contact order in place.
Bail jumping is charged when those conditions of bond are violated. For example, if you are charged with an offense involving guns or other weapons, one of your conditions of bond would most likely say you are not to possess any dangerous weapons. If, while out on bond, you are found to be possessing a dangerous weapon, you can be charged with bail jumping.
Is Bail Jumping a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
Whether a bail jumping charge is a misdemeanor or felony is a different consideration, as is where you will be charged. If the bond conditions were set for a felony case, then the bail jumping charges will be a felony. If they were for a misdemeanor, then the bail jumping charge will be a misdemeanor. As to where the bail jumping will be charged, it can either be charged in the county where you are currently facing charges or it can be in the county in which you committed the bail jumping.
Wisconsin Bail Jumping Penalties
Misdemeanor bail jumping (a Class A misdemeanor) can add 9 months in jail and fines up to $10,000 to the sentence for the original charge. For felony bail jumping (Class H felony), you could be facing another 6 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Remember, this is in addition to your original sentence. Even if you are found not guilty for your original charge, you’ll still be charged with bail jumping.