What Happens if the Defendant Fails to Appear in Court After Being Released on Bond by a Bail Bondsman?

If the defendant does not appear in court, the judge may forfeit the bail. This means that the person who paid for the defendant's release will not get their money back. When the defendant is re-arrested for not showing up, they will have to go through the bail process again, paying bail for both the initial charge and a fee for not appearing in court. Both bonds and cash bonds guarantee that the defendant will appear in court if allowed to leave police custody.

The person who pays for the defendant's release can pay the full amount of the fixed bond in cash, which is known as a cash bond. If the defendant shows up before their court date, then the court will return the money to the payer. The person who speaks to the bail bond agent on behalf of the defendant is known as the Compensator (if they deposit money for the bond or provide security for it in the form of a home or other property). The guarantor may require that the defendant stay in a certain area, update them periodically, and report their whereabouts.

If a bond agent is used, then failure to appear in court will affect multiple people, including the defendant, bondsman, and bond company. If the defendant does not show up for legal proceedings, then the guarantor can find and arrest them, using whatever force is necessary. If they are aware of this order, they can talk to a bail bond agent who will verify it and then complete all necessary paperwork and deposit their bond. If they then “skip bail” by leaving the state or country, then the bail bond agent can impose a lien on any assets that were deposited.

This means that the guarantor is responsible for paying off the full amount of bail, so they have an incentive to find and return them to criminal justice system. The guarantor will then accompany them to jail where their bail will be deposited and processed (fingerprinted and photographed) before being released. If they go missing and do not show up for their scheduled court appointments, then not only will the bail bond agent be looking for them but an arrest warrant will be issued and their bond will be considered delinquent. Both the Indemnifier and bail bond agent are responsible for ensuring that they appear in court until their case has been completed and their bond has been canceled.

The entire bail process usually takes about five hours from initial contact with a guarantor to release from jail. There is one exception to this rule which is when a bail bond agent must deposit a federal bond on behalf of a defendant. In this case, they must pay 15 percent of the total amount instead of 10 percent.

Maya Rayshell
Maya Rayshell

Unapologetic web junkie. Total pop culture nerd. Lifelong food advocate. Infuriatingly humble music aficionado. Lifelong web fan. Award-winning pop culture expert.

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