Co-Signing A Bail Bond? Know What Happens If The Defendant Runs

When a friend or loved one is arrested and you receive that call to post bail, you may find that you need to work with a bail bondsman if the bail amount is too high to pay in cash. Many people will instinctively go through the motions, provide the collateral, and sign the bail bond agreement without giving it a second thought. However, what happens when the person you bailed out decides to jump bail? 

What Happens To Your Loved One If They Jump Bail?

The process of dealing with someone who skips out on bail will vary depending on who notices it first. If he or she misses check-ins with the bail bondsman before a court hearing ever arises, the bail bondsman may be the first to identify that the defendant has run. In that case, the bondsman will often file with the courts to revoke bail, which will result in a warrant being issued for your loved one to be returned to custody. The bail bondsman will often also retain the services of a bounty hunter to track down and return the defendant to custody.

When the judge is the first to determine that the defendant has skipped out on their bail as a result of the defendant's failure to appear for a hearing, the judge will typically issue a bench warrant and revoke bail immediately. The court will send the warrant to the local law enforcement to try to locate the defendant. At the same time, the bondsman will be notified that bail is revoked, and he or she will often seek to locate the individual as well.

What Happens To You If Your Loved One Jumps Bail?

As the co-signer on the bail agreement, you are financially responsible for the fact that your loved one has run. The bondsman will be responsible for paying the bail amount to the courts, which means that he or she will seek to recoup that money from you. You can protect your collateral if you can locate and turn in the defendant, but you will still forfeit the deposit and other funds that you've paid to secure the bail release. 

As soon as the bondsman determines that the defendant has skipped bail, you can expect a phone call or a visit. In most cases, the bondsman will make that first visit alone, but he or she may arrive with a bounty hunter who is helping to locate the defendant.

Be sure that you provide any and all information that you have and make every effort to help them catch your loved one. This will reflect more favorably on you, and it may actually result in your loved one being brought back into custody, protecting your bond collateral from forfeiture.

To learn more, contact a resource like Abel Bail Bonds.