05 Sep What happens when a person who makes bail fails to appear in court?
If the defendant fails to appear at all required hearings, arraignment, preliminary hearing, trial, or sentencing, he or she has “skipped bail”. This means s/he has given up the right to stay out of jail while his or her case is going through the courts, and one of several things will happen:
a) The Court will revoke the original bail and issue a “bench warrant” for the defendant’s arrest. Failure to appear at a hearing is an additional crime and carries a penalty of jail time in addition to any time the defendant may have to serve if convicted of the crime.
b) The bail agent will try to find the defendant and return him or her to police custody. Once the defendant is back in custody, the bail bond can be “exonerated”, meaning the bail agent will no longer be responsible for the full amount of the bail.
c) If the defendant cannot be found and returned to the police within six months, the bail agent must pay the court the full amount of the bail plus additional court costs. The bail agent will then seek to recover that cost from the indemnitor.
The most important thing is keeping great communication with your bail agent. If you have any issues, problems, or concerns, your best bet is to contact them and not get any failure to appear’s in court. That is a big no no. Failing to appear in court could result in a loss of bond.
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