What happens when you post bail? What are the side-effects if a defendant skips a court date? We will discuss these questions in detail throughout this post, though the most important thing to know is that bonds work best when a defendant shows up to court. If not, the defendant and the person who signed the bond could be in for some serious trouble.
Outcome 1: When Someone Skips a Court Date
The worst case scenario is if the person you bailed out skips a court date. That is, of course, the only set requirement for terminating your bond.
If this does occur, though, a few things can happen. First off, the court will send the bond agents a letter that says a person did not appear in court. It is then up to the bail agent to contact you, the person who signed the bond, to find out what is going on. It’s important to note that there aren’t really any excuses for missing a court date.
If you don’t know where a defendant is or why he or she skipped court, the bail agent is then able to do a couple things. If the bond is high enough, the agency may send out bounty hunters (or fugitive recovery agents) to retrieve the defendant and take him or her back to jail. In certain states, you are even able to return the person to jail to get your bond out of default.
We also have to consider how a skipped court date effects your bond. Most of the time, the bail agency will start going after your collateral to make up for the loss. If you signed your car over as collateral, for instance, it may be repossessed by the agency. The same goes for jewelry, property and other collateral you may have used.
You do not want a person you bailed out to skip a court date. This is why it is so important for you to make sure you get the right kind of bond that protects you and doesn’t strip away any collateral.
Outcome 2: The Defendant Goes To Court
Whether or not a defendant is sentenced, put into a service program or acquitted, any collateral you singed over or cash you put down on a bond will be returned to you. This is the best outcome, of course, and is good for both you and the bail agent. Why? Because bail agents get their money back, too.
It is crucial for you to do everything you can to make sure the person you bailed out does what he or she has to do to make it to court. You also have to consider any restrictions the bond agent or jail put on a person’s release, such as staying in a certain county.
And there you have it – Two different outcomes when you post bail. Still have questions? Call Bail Hotline today at (888) 958-1228 for more info.