Bail jumping is where a criminal defendant has been released from jail, with or without bail, and is scheduled to be in court but doesn't show up. There are two kinds of bail skipping in Alabama: first and second degree. Bail jumping in the first degree only occurs if you were charged with murder, or a class A or B felony. Bail jumping in the first degree is a class C felony in itself. Bail skipping in the second degree occurs when you are charged with any misdemeanor or class C felony, and don't show up for court. Bail jumping in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.
Today, a Birmingham, Alabama client came into my office for an FTA(failure to appear) in Pelham, Alabama. He has a brother from Hoover, Alabama who came into the office on similar charges as well. They both needed advice on their Alabama failure to appear charges. I told them that in order to prove bail skipping, the Shelby County prosecutor must show the brothers intentionally failed to appear for their respective court dates. In theory, all the defense need do to beat the FTA charge is introduce evidence they did not miss their court dates intentionally. Thus, if a brother takes the stand and testifies he missed the court date unintentionally, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt he missed the court date intentionally. This is a very hard burden of proof for the prosecution to meet.