There are many things that can happen to a defendant who fails to make an appearance in court after he or she has posted bail. These include facing an arrest, wage garnishment, and lien on assets or other properties that haven’t been used as a form of collateral.
A failure to appear warrant is commonly issued by a judge to such a defendant. This will then be entered into the various databases of law enforcement organizations. If the fugitive who has avoided prosecution or arrest is hindered by police, there is a very huge probability that he or she will be arrested. The defendant will then be brought back to the jurisdiction where the charges were initially filed. In addition, individuals who have acted as co-signers (in putting up the collateral with bail bonding charges) and who have signed a contract stating that the defendant will appear in court are put at a risk of losing their assets.
Bail bonds are used to represent an agreement wherein a defendant promises to make an appearance in court on a particular, specified date. Judges will then determine whether to have that person released from custody either on a secured or an unsecured bond. A secured bond is a form of upfront cash deposit. In most cases, this payment is 10% of the overall bail amount.
If the defendant is able to keep to his or her promises of making all appearances, it is possible that the bail will be exonerated. The payment that he or she has already made may also be returned after the court fees have been subtracted. If the defendant is not able to do this, however, the deposit that has been paid will be forfeited. The total bail amount will also become due.
Unsecured appearance bail bonds, on the other hand, is a process wherein a suspect will be released based on recognizance. The judge will have to set a bail amount but will not require any cash payment or form of collateral as a bail condition. These unsecured bonds are typically given to minor offenses as well as defendants who are not considered to be flight risks.
A bail bond is typically exonerated if the defendant has been sentenced or if he or she has been found to be innocent. In addition, exoneration of bail bonds may also take place if the charges are dismissed or if granting of a deferred program has occurred. All court dates must still be met though. The defendant should also pay for all court fees before a judge will exonerate the bail bond.