Every year in the US, more than 20% of people facing charges fail to appear in court.
If you are out on bail you may experience overwhelming feelings of anxiety as your court date draws nearer. You may be feeling the same way if you have posted bail for someone with a pending court appearance.
When you are in either of these situations, it’s in your best interest to find out what happens if you don’t show up for court. Here’s the deal.
What Happens if You Don’t Show up For Court
It happens that people to miss their court appearance for understandable reasons. These are things like illness, car trouble or getting the date wrong.
In these cases, the court is usually lenient and reschedules the court date. There is no guarantee of this, so it’s important to treat a court case as an absolute priority. The easiest way to make a court case go away is to arrive and deal with the consequences of your arrest.
If you skip bail without a good excuse, there could be severe consequences.
Failure to appear (FTA) in court is a federal offense in some states and will result in a warrant for the arrest of the person who skips bail. A prison sentence of 30 days to 8 months can be added to any penalties that the defendant is already facing.
The judge will normally increase the bail bond by twice the amount of the original bail. The court will notify the bail bond agent and the defendant when this happens.
If a defendant misses his court appearances more than once for the same case, they will have a very hard time getting bonded. These types of bonds are categorized and often called a C-Bond. Most bondsmen stay away from servicing these types bonds because of their risk. Bail agents who do assist will normally ask for 100% cash collateral plus their fee.
In some cases, the court may exercise leniency and allow the defendant a chance to rectify matters. The court is not obliged to do this and unlikely to if the person is a repeat offender.
These are the consequences for the person who fails to appear, but what happens if you bail someone out of jail and they run?
Implications for the Person who Posted Bail
When you take out a bail bond for someone, you are responsible to the court as well as the bail bond agent. You also assume responsibility for ensuring that the defendant appears in court.
If you manage to track the runner down within 90 days, take them to the police and fill out the necessary paperwork. They will notify the court that the person has been located. Should the police find them first, you can apply for reinstatement of the bond.
If you can’t make this happen, you are liable for paying the increased bail bond and could lose any assets you put up as security if you aren’t able to do so.
For these reasons, you should avoid arranging bail for anyone if you have the slightest suspicion they may skip bail. It’s a mistake with far-reaching consequences.
There are other ways to raise a bail bond if needed.
Choosing a Bail Bond Provider
Should you decide to arrange bail for someone else it is important to deal with a reputable bail bond agent.
Always check for companies registered with the Better Business Bureau when making bail arrangements.
The Best Advice About Bail Bonds
If you have bail-related questions like, ‘what happens if you don’t show up for court?’, get in touch with a reputable bail bond agent before you do anything else.
We are active throughout North Carolina and available 24 hours a day.