Failure to Appear In Court - Skipping Bail in California
California bail bond provider explains what happens when a defendant fails to appear in court (or skips out on bail) in the State of California.
Who is ultimately financially responsible to pay the bail when a defendant doesn't show up for a court date.
He also explains that if it was a simple mistake that a court date was missed, these situations are easily rectified.
In our business when a defendant fails to appear, we call this a forfeiture.
Most of the time when we get a forfeiture, it’s simply an innocent mistake. Perhaps the defendant had car trouble, or they’re in the hospital or they went to the wrong court – something like that. Usually when it’s that type of problem, it’s very easy to resolve.
Our first step when we have this type of situation is we call the defendant or the person who signed for the bond and usually these troubles are pretty easily rectified.
We can give the defendant the necessary documentation to take to the court and get the bond reinstated.
If the defendant refuses, however, then we need to locate them and bring them into custody. In California, we have six months to locate a defendant. If necessary, what we will do is we will contact with a fugitive recovery company that will help us to locate the defendant.
Ultimately it’s the cosigner – the person who signed for the bond – that’s the person who is going to take the financial responsibility.
So let’s say, for example, we have a… a $50,000 bond and the defendant fails to appear and you can’t locate him. It’s ultimately going to be the cosigner who is going to have to pay that $50,000 and if that cosigner can’t pay us then we have to pay because we’re ultimately responsible.