Before we discuss what bail bond forfeiture is, let us first discuss what a bail bond is.
Well, it is the agreement between the court and the defendant that prohibits the defendant
to stay outside of jail until their next hearing on court. It involves the defendant paying
a specific amount of money to the authorities. Nevertheless, the defendant can have their
money back in case he/she has followed everything that was agreed upon. On the other hand,
failure to follow it results to a bail bond forfeiture. A good example of this is when the
defendant failed to appear before the court as requested.
Now, if you are wondering on whether the bail bond forfeiture happens suddenly, the answer
is no. After the court has informed the defendant that the bail bond they have paid would be
forfeited, then the court will schedule a specific amount of time wherein if the defendant
still doesn’t show up, the forfeiture would then take effect. How long the period would be
depends on the jurisdiction. So, what happens to the bail bond paid? Well, the court would
take away the money and in most cases, it is not returned to the defendant.
So, how can you avoid bail bond forfeiture? The answer is actually simple but hard to
follow. The defendant just needs to ensure that they would be able to appear before the
court during all of their hearings and whenever the court seeks for their attendance. The
defendant can also surrender their passport to assure the court that they have no plans of
flying outside of the country. Adhering to the curfew that has been set as well as checking
in with the police may also help. Not only that, while the case is not yet closed and bail
bond money has not yet been returned, it would be best for the defendant to avoid smoking,
alcohol and drugs as well.
On the other hand, the people around the defendant can also do something to help avoid bail
bond forfeiture. For example, they can monitor the defendant in order to reduce the risk of
the defendant flying outside of the country. Now, in case the defendant has already escaped,
then they can help in tracking or locating them. They need to find the defendant before the
forfeiture is finalized and then surrender them to the law enforcement officials.
For the defendant, it is always important to all of the dates that the court has set for
them to appear for if not, then the court has the right to issue a bench warrant. This is
different from the other search warrants for an investigation it not even required to be
conducted. The police also need not even ask and hey have arrest the defendant as soon as it
has been issued. So, it is indeed very important for a defendant to avoid bail bond
forfeiture at all cost, especially if they know in themselves that they are innocent.