When you find yourself arrested and looking for a way to get out of jail, bail bonds are heaven sent. Working with a bail bondsman, the defendant pays a fee and guarantees that he/she will appear in court for their trial. Ajua Bail Bonds would like to talk about what happens when a defendant fails to appear in court and the repercussions that ensue.
What Does Bond Forfeiture Mean?
When a defendant has gotten out of jail on bail, they are making a promise attached to a fee, saying they will appear in court. When they fail to do so, the judge will order the bond forfeited. This can also be the result of a violation of the terms agreed upon when bail was set. When a bond forfeiture hearing is set, the defendant will not be refunded the amount of their bail.
What Does it Mean to Forfeit the Bond?
In this instance, the judge usually gives the bondsman between one week and 180 days to locate the defendant before it is final. For this reason, bondsman often go to great lengths to find a defendant who has failed to appear in court. If this isn’t possible, the bail bond agency loses their money and a warrant is issued for the defendant. When a defendant fails to appear in court, this is considered a crime. Depending on which state you are in, the defendant may receive a felony for failing to appear. In other states it may not be as serious. The consequence may depend on what your original charges were. If you were being charged with a felony, jumping bail will be a more serious crime than someone who is being charged with a misdemeanor.
Is there a Valid Excuse Not to Show Up to Court?
The only time that it is excusable to have missed your court date, is if you had no control over the matter. If there was no way that you could have been there because of situations out of your control, you may get a pass. If you were in a hospital, so sick that you couldn’t walk, this may be a valid excuse. If you were not there because of intoxication and drug use, this doesn’t count. Even if you were in jail in a different state or jurisdiction, many courts will not see this as an appropriate excuse for your absence.
Facing More Charges
One of the biggest problems you will be facing if you fail to appear in court after being released on bail, is the chance you will be facing more charges. When you are already in legal trouble, the last thing you need is more of it. You could be facing even more charges on top of your original charges. Even if you were found innocent for the original charges, you will still be in legal trouble after failing to appear.
Bail Bond Services in Clovis, Reedley, Sanger, Selma, Atwater, Los Banos, Merced, Visalia, Porterville, Tulare, Hanford, Corcoran, Lemoore & Greater Fresno, CA
If you or a loved one are in jail for any reason, it is likely, that you are only focused on getting them home again. Let Ajua Bail Bonds help you get yourself or someone you love home as soon as possible. Call us today.