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New Jersey man gets 20 years in prison after evading sentencing

It is natural to get scared when faced with prison time for violent crimes or other criminal charges. Running away only makes the problem worse, however. If you are accused of a crime and try to evade a court appearance, you could appear guilty before the trial starts. If you have already been convicted of a crime and flee while awaiting sentencing, the penalties issued by the court are typically more severe. A New Jersey man convicted of attempted murder learned this lesson the hard way.

After his family used their home as collateral against a $100,000 bail bond, the man became anxious and afraid while awaiting sentencing. He cut off his electronic monitoring device and fled. The ensuing search involved various law enforcement agencies and lasted for approximately two months. The man was captured at a bus station in Missouri after receiving a tip. The judge presiding over the case added an additional 5 years to his sentence for obstruction of justice, bail jumping and contempt; he received a flat 15 year sentence for the attempted murder conviction. The man claimed that was not mentally healthy at the time of his escape and asked the court for leniency.

Defendants who intentionally skip bail are typically denied leniency in the courts; it is a serious crime with serious consequences. There are sometimes unavoidable circumstances that cause someone to miss a court appearance. If you are facing charges for bail jumping in addition to other criminal charges, you may want to seek help from a criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can help you defend yourself in court, especially if your failure to appear was unintentional. There are ways to mitigate the consequences.

Source: Cliffviewpilot.com, “Escape brings more prison time for Mahwah man who stabbed ex-partner’s brother,” Mary K. Miraglia, July 19, 2013

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