This article is intended to bring light to a topic many defendants may not be aware of. Most defendants are aware that if a court date is intentionally missed that a bench warrant for contempt of court will be issued. However, many are not aware that this could also lead to other charges. For instance, if a defendant was bailed out in accordance to Florida statute 903 on a misdemeanor charge then failing to appear while on bail could result in a subsequent first degree misdemeanor charge, if a defendant was bailed out in accordance to statute 903 on a felony charge; a felony of the 3rd degree could result an additional charge. Below will list the Florida state statute in regards to failing to appear while on bail.
The 2015 Florida Statutes
843.15 Failure of defendant on bail to appear.—(1) Whoever, having been released pursuant to chapter 903, willfully fails to appear before any court or judicial officer as required shall incur a forfeiture of any security which was given or pledged for her or his release and, in addition, shall:
(a) If she or he was released in connection with a charge of felony or while awaiting sentence or pending review by certiorari after conviction of any offense, be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, or;
(2) Nothing in this section shall interfere with or prevent the exercise by any court of its power to punish for contempt.