Most people know that bail is what is posted for someone who has been arrested, so they can be released pending their court appearance. However, many people do not know what can happen if they do not show up to court. This is known as bail forfeiture and is quite serious.
How Does Bail Forfeiture Affect the Accused?
When someone who has been arrested (the defendant) misses their court date, they forfeit the bail that has been posted for their release. A forfeiture hearing will be held. A bench warrant for their arrest will be issued by the judge. At this point, the person can be arrested by any law officer in the area. Usually the bail was put up by a bondsman, so they will be looking for the person as well. If they find them, they will return them to jail. An company that can provide a bondsman scranton pa is Always Available Bail Bonds LLC.
If the person shows up before the forfeiture hearing, they do not forfeit the bond. It is possible that extenuating circumstances could apply. They may not have received the letter informing them of their court date, or a close relative could have died. If they have a good reason for not showing up, the court may take this into consideration and set another court date.
When Bail is Forfeited
When a person on bail does not show up, the bondsman has to pay the entire amount of the bail. Therefore, they will enlist whatever help is available to find them. Some states allows bondsmen to hire bounty hunters to find the defendant. When they are found, they probably will not get bail again. They will have to stay in jail until their court date.
In addition to remaining in jail, the defendant could face additional charges, such as failure to appear. There may be fines. When the charge they faced originally is a felony, they will be facing more severe penalties. Another thing that will be considered, when deciding whether to file additional charges, is if the defendant was arrested on the bench warrant or voluntarily returned.