Bail bonds and the prohibition against being held without excessive bail is one our Fundamental Constitutional Rights, and something we need to take seriously. There are many different aspects to bail, today we will take you through the consequences of “failing to appear”, “FTA”, “breaking a bond” or missing a court date.
There are two primary reasons for honoring a bail bond. It is important for both the co-signer (or Indemnitor) and the defendant to make sure to follow through on any restrictions, requirements, prerequisites, and obligations of signing a bail bond. By following these “rules,” per se, you can be assured that there will be no unexpected or unnecessary financial or criminal consequences (for the accused) of bailing someone out of jail.
1. Financial Risk for the Co-Signer
The most important reason to make sure a defendant shows up in court is that you, as a co-signer, have a financial interest or obligation to. You are responsible to pay for the total amount of the bond in addition to the bail premium you may have already paid. You may lose your collateral, or the possessions you sign over to a bail agency when you begin the process of securing a bond for a friend or family member. Collateral typically consists of cars, properties, valuable possessions like jewelry, and other items that make up for the full cost of the bail bond. Deciding what to use as collateral is an important component of the bail bond process. Thankfully, agencies like Bail Hotline® have the experience, personnel, and customer service to help you make the right decisions on what to use.
2. Harsher Treatment for the Defendant
If you were a defendant and skipped a court date, many things can happen. Judges will often issue a bench warrant for your arrest, even for minor offenses, if you miss a criminal hearing. This means the police can arrest you on sight and will put you in jail. Due to your failure to appear, the Court will make it harder for you to be released, possibly, increasing the amount of bail to be posted for your release causing you to pay more for a bail bond and posting more collateral or ordering you to be held without bail whereby you will remain in jail until your trial is over, no matter how much you are will to pay to be released.
One of the worst things that can happen is that you may earn another criminal charge: contempt of court. This may seem like a petty offense, but adding on more fines and jail time for a crime (not an alleged one like the one you would be tried for) is only going to complicate matters.
The Bottom Line
Bail Bonds are within your Fundamental Constitutional Rights, however, our states differ as to the legal requirements for Pre-Trial release from custody. The bail industry in California is highly competitive and the process can be complicated therefore please be sure the agency you choose is trustworthy and experienced. Bail Hotline, (insert marketing dicta here) one of the highest-rated bail companies in our Nation, we can help you (as a co-signer or defendant) through the bail process to ensure you avoid the aforementioned consequences of dishonoring a bail bond and court date.