If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of being arrested, you know how difficult it can be to be separated from your friends, family, and loved ones. Chances are, if you’ve been given the opportunity to be bailed out of jail, you want to do everything in your power to make sure you don’t go back anytime soon. For many, this is a commitment they are able to adhere to. For others, it’s not so easy, and you might find yourself wondering what happens if you fail to meet the conditions of your bail.
At Future Bail Bonds, our knowledgeable staff is here to help you and your family with all matters related to your bail bond. Whether we’re completing our initial review of the bail bonds process or reviewing the conditions of your bail, you can count on compassionate and transparent communication from our team at all times. In our prior article, we reviewed six common bail bond conditions. In today’s installment, we’ll review what might happen if you fail to fulfill those obligations. For more information, or if you have concerns about your bail conditions, contact us today at 909-990-5700.
What is the Purpose of Bail?
The purpose of bail is two-fold. First and foremost, bail is set to encourage the accused’s return to court at the appointed date and time. Secondly, when a bail bond is posted, the defendant is allowed to return home to their family, friends, and loved ones while they await a future court date.
What Happens to the Bail I Posted if I Miss Court?
When a defendant fails to meet the conditions of his or her bail and/or fails to appear for court hearings, this is referred to as “skipping bail” or “jumping bail.” When an accused disregards one or several of the conditions set forth by the courts, including making all scheduled court appearances, he or she risks losing the bail money that was posted. In the state of California, there is a 180-day rule. This means that if the defendant is not located within 180 days of jumping bail and cannot provide a very compelling reason explaining his or her absence, the bond is lost.
If the accused, or one of his or her family members or friends, paid the bail with a cash bond, 100 percent of the bond will be forfeited to the courts. If a bail bondsman was involved, the bondsman will frequently assist in locating the defendant, although this isn’t always as dramatic as some popular bountyhunter shows might lead you to believe. If the defendant cannot be located, the premium is forfeited and the bondsman has to pay a summary judgement for the remainder of the bail amount. In turn, the accused or whoever paid the premium as a co-signer becomes liable to the bondsman for the amount of the summary judgement. Additionally, any collateral that was involved will also be lost.
Will I Have to Go Back to Jail?
The answer to this question is not necessarily cut and dry. Depending on the reason why the accused missed the court date, he or she may have to return to jail. If it was something as simple as a broken down car or a late bus, it is within the judge’s authority to excuse the absence without the defendant returning back to jail. However, if the accused has a history of failing to appear or there is some other reason to believe that he or she may not show, their potential of going back to jail is high.
In California, when the accused fails to appear in court, there may be a bench warrant issued for his or her arrest. Once the defendant is located, if the judge feels the reason he or she missed the scheduled court date is not compelling enough, he or she will likely return to jail while awaiting the conclusion of the legal proceedings related to the case. In these circumstances, there is usually not the potential of another bail bond opportunity. In our over-saturated judicial system, this means the defendant may need to remain in jail for months before the much-anticipated court date arrives.
Is there the Potential of Additional Charges?
Skipping bail is a very serious offense, and California courts do not look upon this lightly. When a defendant fails to appear in court for their original charges, this is construed as being in contempt of court. In California, when a party is in contempt of court, he or she may face additional charges related to jumping bail. This can include violation of probation, additional jail time, added fines, and driver’s license suspension. These added charges and fines can make a situation that’s already bad worse.
There are several motivating reasons why an accused individual should not skip out on his or her bail. In order to avoid losing a lot of money, incurring additional charges and fines, and going back to jail, attendance at all hearings and adhering to the other bail conditions is highly advised. Feel free to visit our FAQ page to learn more about bail bonds! If you’re in the San Bernardino area and you’d like to speak with a bail bonds professional about your specific case, contact Future Bail Bonds. We’ll happily provide a free consultation to answer any questions you have about the bail process and compliance with bail conditions.
Speak with us today by calling 909-990-5700. We’re available 24/7 to meet your bail bonds needs!