710-1025 Bail jumping in the second degree. (1) A person commits the offense of bail jumping in the second degree if, having been released from custody by court order with or without bail, upon condition that the person will subsequently appear as ordered in connection with a charge of having committed a misdemeanor or a petty misdemeanor, the person knowingly fails to appear as ordered.

(2) Bail jumping in the second degree is a misdemeanor. [L 1972, c 9, pt of 1; gen ch 1993; am L 2004, c 17, 2]

 

COMMENTARY ON 710-1024 AND 710-1025

 

Unlike the sections dealing with escape, the sanctions for bail jumping are based upon the actor's breaking of a covenant the actor has made with the law. The actor has promised that the actor will appear before a certain court on a certain date. The seriousness of the breach of the covenant is directly proportional to the gravity of the offense for which the actor must answer at the appointed time. Hence, the sanctions are roughly proportional to the gravity of the offense charged: jumping bail for class A, B or C felonies is a class C felony; jumping bail for lesser offenses is a misdemeanor.

Hawaii previously did not have criminal penalties for forfeiture of bail. This is a reflection of the philosophy of a number of jurisdictions that rely too heavily upon the monetary sanction to secure compliance with an order to appear at some future date. Such a philosophy, when coupled with the fee required by professional bail bondsmen, may lead to disproportionately heavy bails being set for relatively poor individuals. The Code espouses a more general use of the criminal sanction for failure to appear, encouraging the release of relatively poor people either on minimal bail or on their own recognizance, and assuring the appearance of the more wealthy people who might otherwise be inclined to forfeit.

 

SUPPLEMENTAL COMMENTARY ON 710-1024 AND 710-1025

 

The Code as adopted by the legislature differs from the Proposed Draft in two respects. In 710-1024, the term "or C" was inserted before the term "felony." Thus, a person commits the offense of bail jumping in the first degree if the person fails to appear in connection with a charge of class A or B or C felony.

In 710-1025, the term "a Class C felony" which was in the Proposed Draft was deleted so that the offense of bail jumping in the second degree is restricted to failure to appear involving charges of a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor only.

Act 10, Session Laws 1993, amended 710-1024 to clarify that bail jumping in the first degree applies to all felonies, including murder in the first and second degrees and other nondesignated felonies specified in the Hawaii Revised Statutes other than in the Penal Code, rather than only to felonies designated as class A, B, or C. Act 10 also made the language in that section gender neutral. House Standing Committee Report No. 864, Senate Standing Committee Report No. 450.

Act 17, Session Laws 2004, amended 710-1024 and 710-1025 by lowering the state-of-mind requirement for bail jumping offenses from "intentionally" to "knowingly." The legislature found that the change from "intentionally" to "knowingly" failing to appear may deter individuals from missing their court dates and facilitate convictions for bail jumping. House Standing Committee Report No. 201-04, Senate Standing Committee Report No. 3082.

 

 

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