After you’ve been arrested, your bail is set by the court, according to a “schedule” with fixed amounts for certain charges—although the judge may raise or lower the amount depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime. When you work with licensed bail bondsmen like Balboa Bail Bonds, we sign an agreement with the courts to put up a surety bond as collateral, guaranteeing that you will make all of your court dates.
But if you don’t make your court dates, the money that you, your family, or your bail agent put up in exchange for your release will be owed to the court. This is called forfeiture, and it will put you on the hook for whatever your bail amount is. Depending on your bail amount, that could mean you owe thousands of dollars.
However, Balboa Bail Bonds can assist you if you or a loved one has missed a court date. Call us immediately at (619) 760-2222, and we will try to resolve the situation right away. Our bail agents may be able to prevent the consequences of a missed court date by reinstating the bail bond and rescheduling your court appearances.
When the defendant of an alleged crime fails to appear in court on any scheduled court date, or if his lawyer does not appear on his behalf for those dates, his bail bond is forfeited. The bond that was posted for bail now belongs to the court and it will not be returned. The judge will then issue a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest, and unless a good reason can be provided, he or she will be charged with the additional crime of “failure to appear.” While a good criminal defense lawyer can help by trying to get this type of charge dropped, contacting Balboa Bail Bonds as soon as you miss your court appearance could help you avoid the charge altogether.
If you call Balboa Bail Bonds after a forfeiture, we will notify the court as soon as possible. We’ll ask them to re-activate the bail bond to get it out of forfeiture status. This is called reinstatement. We’ll also help you schedule a new court date, eliminating the possibility of the court issuing a bench warrant for your arrest.
If you do not reinstate a forfeited bail bond, or return to custody in lieu of doing so, the court can issue a summary judgment against the person who signed the bail agreement. That amount is now owed to the court in full and is considered a non-dischargeable debt in bankruptcy, which means that if you signed an agreement with a bail bondsman, any real property you had put up as collateral may be used to satisfy the debt. If you have co-signers, they will also be held financially responsible for the forfeited bail amount.
Before you can be bailed out of jail, the court must have either cash or a surety bond guarantee from a licensed bail agent, ensuring that you will return for the duration of your proceedings. Until your case has been dismissed or tried to a verdict or plea deal, you must comply with the terms of bail and you or your lawyer must appear at all court dates.
When a bail is forfeited, we don’t want you to face the consequences if you don’t have to. At Balboa Bail Bonds, we believe that being proactive is the best way to resolve this situation. If you contact us immediately, we can help guide you to the best possible outcome and prevent any severe penalties. Our team is dedicated to making sure that you understand every aspect of the bail process and that you feel comfortable with each step. We are committed to giving you fast, flexible, and affordable service so that you can return to your loved ones. Call us now at (619) 760-2222.