If someone you care about reaches out to you saying that they’ve been arrested and need your help posting bail, you are well within your means to do so. Once you co-sign the bond, however, what the person who has been arrested does is partially your responsibility as well, as you verified that they could be released prior to their court appearance. But what if this person goes back on their word and doesn’t show up for their court date?
In and around Indiana County, PA, your bail bondsman will hold you just as accountable as the person you have bailed out — which means the failure to appear might lead to trouble for you, as well. You obviously have little control over what another person does, but you may have to face the music if they make a poor choice against their court order. Here is what this turn of events might mean for you.
Penalties for Jumping Bail
It goes without saying that the person who jumped bail will be facing significant criminal charges. Whether there are felony or misdemeanor charges, the penalties can range from a $1,000 fine to up to 3 years in prison. The judge will most likely issue a bench warrant for their arrest after not appearing. While you probably won’t face any charges, you may face fines of your own from the civil courts in your county.
It’s worth noting, however, that if the reason for failing to appear in court is for a non-malicious reason, such as a clerical error or a severe illness requiring the defendant to quarantine, then the bail bond agents can attempt to have the court date rescheduled. However, you will still likely be in a bond forfeit, which eliminates the possibility of a refund of the full bail amount.
Handling Defaulted Bonds
When the person you bailed out skips their court appearance, your bond goes into a state of default — in other words, you could lose not only the amount that you paid to the bail agents but your collateral as well. This punishment won’t happen right away, as in many cases, the courts will give you a brief grace period to resolve the issues.
The easiest way to restore a bond in default is by bringing the defendant to law enforcement officials and signing paperwork. Of course, there is no guarantee that this person will cooperate if they did indeed jump bail. With this in mind, if you have a suspicion that your defendant will skip their court appearance, it is your responsibility to let the bail bondsman know so they can take further action.
Hiring a Bounty Hunter
In instances of jumped bail, both police officers and bail bond services need to be able to locate the defendant so they can be taken into custody. However, when someone does skip out on bail, they are likely not going to peacefully surrender themselves if they intentionally failed to show. In instances such as these, the recommended course of action is turning to a fugitive recovery agent — also known as a bounty hunter.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, you likely know what this entails. The bounty hunter’s job is to track down the defendant’s whereabouts, and once they find them, they bring them back to the authorities, where they will be detained again. You will still have to fill out the paperwork to avoid your bond going into default in such an instance.
Reach Out to Freedom Fast Bail Bonds
From warrant searches to large bail bonds, residents of Pittsburgh, PA, and nearby can turn to Freedom Fast Bail Bonds in such instances. Of course, we advise that if you choose to co-sign someone’s bail, you make sure they are someone you will be able to trust to show up in court after the fact. Regardless, our bondsmen will be able to help you or someone close to you prepare for the upcoming case from outside of a jail cell. We are available 24/7, so if you find yourself in the position of needing to post bail, reach out to us at any time!