Historical bail bond document

What is Bail Bond Forfeiture?

Old historical documentGetting arrested and tried for a crime can be very costly. Lawyers can be expensive, there are court fees, and those charged can sometimes even be expected to pay out additional money if they lose the case, depending on its circumstances. Another area where people will be spending their money is for bail. They’ll get to pay this if they’re lucky, as not every defendant will be granted bail at all, particularly if they pose a major flight risk. The amount set for bail is often very high and can be extremely difficult to pay for a lot of people. Fortunately, there are companies that will secure that cost and allow people to walk free as they await their trial’s conclusion.

 

These companies are called bail bond agencies, and they work by putting up the money set forth in the bail and requiring the individual themselves to only pay 10%. Bail bondsman rarely have to pay out the full bail up front as a private individual would have to, but they are still held responsible for it, should the bail be forfeit. These agencies accept the risk that the person won’t flee or miss their court dates and cause a bail bond forfeiture; if they do so, it can cause very serious issues to arise for both the bond agency and the suspect.

Courts are often and regularly forgiving of defendants who miss their court dates, as there is an understanding that accidents do happen and everyone makes mistakes from time to time, as long as the defendant was prompt after realizing their mistake and has a valid reason for being absent. Even with this in mind, it’s still important that a person know all of the possible results of missing a court date.

There are various rules that are involved between both the defendant as well as the bondsman who paid the bail. For the bondsman, if a defendant misses one of their court dates, the court can order a full forfeiture, which means the agency will start receiving demands for paying the full bail amount, which can be very damaging to their business finances. These companies rely on the defendants showing up to their scheduled hearings in order to avoid paying out the full cost. Once they’ve received a letter, they’ll generally have 180 days to ensure that suspect is within either court or police custody, which often involves the use of a bounty hunter to go out and locate the defendant and personally overseeing their arrest.

For the defendant, they can easily earn a failure-to-appear charge along with whatever other charges they were facing in the first place. Failure to appear works much like a contempt of court charge, as they will have to answer for that crime as well as their original crime. The charge alone can cause very serious penalties, such as making it harder for the defendant to be granted bail in the future. In addition to that, having to constantly be worried about bail bondsmen and detectives can make living day-to-day very stressful.

Failure to appear in court is a very grave offense and will often bring about even more charges. The best course of action to take when facing a court date is to show up at all scheduled hearings promptly.

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