Bail Bonds Blog
Bail bond laws can vary significantly from state to state, so it's always important to consult your own state's laws when dealing with the details of acquiring a bail bond. However, some bail bond facts and laws are fairly universal, since they relate to the legal concept of bail itself and how it works. The following facts about bail bonds can help you better understand some of the legal aspects of bail:
Bail: A Guarantee of Compliance
A bail bond is a way of guaranteeing that once a defendant in a criminal case has been released from custody, he or she will attend all court proceedings and comply with all the court's requirements until the resolution of the case.
Bail Bond: A Financial Obligation
A bail bond obligates the responsible party (called the indemnitor) to satisfy the court's demand for payment of the full bail amount in the event that the defendant should forfeit the bond by fleeing the court's jurisdiction, failing to appear for all court proceedings, or failing to fulfill any other requirement of the bail agreement. This usually means that unless a defendant who has fled can be apprehended and returned to the court's jurisdiction or otherwise made to comply with the bail agreement, the indemnitor will lose the property used to secure the bond.
Bail Bond Forfeiture
When a defendant fails to appear for a court proceeding, a bench warrant is issued. At this point, there is still a chance that the indemnitor will not lose the property pledged to secure the bail bond. The court will set a deadline by which the defendant must be returned to custody in order to avoid forfeiture of the bond. If the defendant cannot be located or returned in time, the bail bond will be forfeited and a summary judgment filed requiring the bail bondsman to pay the full bail amount to the court. When this occurs, the indemnitor loses the pledged property.
Bail Bond Reinstatement
If the defendant can be located and returned to custody before the deadline set by the court, a bail reinstatement hearing is held to determine whether the bail bond should be reinstated. If the bond is reinstated, the defendant is allowed to remain free and the indemnitor retains the pledged property. The bail reinstatement proceeding generally results in added costs to the indemnitor, in addition to the expenses the bail bondsman incurs while apprehending the defendant. This is one reason families should take a good, hard look at their own circumstances and the likelihood that their defendant will comply with the requirements of the bail agreement before deciding to pledge their property for their loved one's bail.
These are just a few of the many laws and facts about bail bonds. If you have a question about any other aspect of bail bond law, contact a licensed bail agent or attorney