When a defendant chooses to pay bail in order to remain out of jail and fails to appear at the scheduled court date, there are consequences that can affect not only them but also any friends or family who have helped in securing the amount of bail.
Failure to appear in court after bailing out of jail violates not only a court order but also violates the agreement with the bail bond company who loaned the money needed to help the defendant remain out of jail. Defendant’s can face multiple consequences including:
Warrant for Arrest
If a defendant fails to appear in court, a judge will issue a warrant for their arrest and they could be taken into custody at any time after the warrant is issued. Depending on the severity of the crime, a judge may request that police go to their home or work place to execute the warrant.
Jail Sentence and Fines
Not only can a judge impose fines if a defendant fails to appear at court, the bail bond will be surrendered to the court. When this occurs, the defendant or their friends and family will be at risk for losing the collateral that was used to secure the loan through the bail bond company. It is important for the defendant to attend all court dates to remove the risk of further penalty.
Driver’s License Suspension
In some states, the judge can order that your driver’s license be suspended once you have failed to appear to court and this suspension will be effective at least until you appear before a judge to address the failure to appear.
There can be many reasons for why a defendant fails to appear to court but without proper proof as to why they didn’t attend, any one of these consequences above can be enforced.
There may be a chance to convince a judge that a defendant’s failure was not willful such as suffering an injury, being extremely ill or needing to take care of any emergency such as taking someone to the hospital. Other reasons could include writing down the wrong date or that the defendant lacked any means to get to court and were unable to inform the court of their inability to attend. It is important that if a defendant cannot appear at court, they inform their attorney, bond smith or judge BEFORE the court date if possible. This can help avoid any risk for further penalty.
When you hire you a bail bond company, it is important that you find one who knows your rights and the limitations of the law. We at Mercy Bail Bonds understand that this is a trying time in your life and we’re here to assist you the best way we know how – providing excellent service and information when you need it. Our experienced agents can provide you information on how the legal process will work and what to expect!
If you need assistance, please feel free to contact our office at (727)856-7775. We will take the time to walk you through every step of this process and answer any questions you might have.