What happens if the defendant doesn’t show up for their court date

The first thing that will happen is the judge will order a warrant for their arrest and a forfeiture of the bond. This means that the full amount of the bond will be due to the court. Example would be if you had a $20,000.00 bond even though you may have paid less than $ 2000.00 for the premium for the bond now the entire $ 20,000.00 will be owed by the defendant and the cosigners in addition to the premium already paid.

Now there are exceptions to this and first off it would depend first on whether the failure to appear was an accident vs the defendant skipping out.

Example # 1 would be if they had a flat tire or something accidental and they immediately called the bond company and explained. This can normally be corrected by the bail bondsman with the court by executing a reassumption of the bond. This would give the defendant a new court date and get them back on track. However there are times when the bond amount may be increased by the court at this time costing the client more in premium and the bail agent to write another bond.

Example # 2 would be if the defendant decided they were just not going to go to court. The bail company would be forced to hire investigators/ bounty hunters to find the defendant. The cosigners and defendant would be responsible for the cost of this. The faster the defendant turned themselves in or was located the less the investigation and recover fee owed would be so long as it was prior to the cashing of the bond by the court.

Example # 3 should the defendant not be located in a timely manner the court will cash the bond, the investigation and bond amount would be owed by defendant and cosigners.

For concerned cosigners the bottom line is that most mistakes can be corrected. The cosigner is in good shape so long as the defendant goes to court and does not skip out of town.


What are the defendant’s responsibilities once they’ve been released?

There are two entities that may have release conditions on a person being bonded out of jail or posting a bond in court. The simplest answer is to show up to court as instructed to do so on every court date and not be late. However the court may impose certain restrictions on a case by case basis such as for the defendant to honor a restraining order, go to drug rehabilitation classes not hang out or associate with certain people or to not leave the county or state. The bail agent may also impose some of these same restrictions as well. It is possible that either the court or the bail bondsman may have different responsibilities or requirements so it is best to ask and be sure. Usually you will ask both your attorney what the court requirements are and ask your bondsman separately because one may not know nor take the responsibility to inform you for the other.

How long will it take for the defendant to be released from jail?

Once the bail bond has been posted the release time varies from city to city and county to county. The release from a small city jail can be a little as 15 minutes and as much as 4 hours. County release time can be a little as 2 hours and as much as 12 hours. Your bondsman will generally know the times depending on where they are in jail and usually ask how busy the jail facility is at the time they post to be more accurate. Examples of the different times would be Newport Beach and Laguna Beach Jails it will normally take about 15 minutes for them to be released whereas Santa Ana Jail is usually 2 to 4 hours. Another example would be Orange County Jail normally take 6 to 8 hours for release whereas LA County and San Diego County Jails normally take 10 to 12 hours for release.

Some of the unforeseen things that will affect the release time would be if the defendant has proper ID when they were taken into custody, If they have multiple AKA’s or been arrested using an Alias before, what time of the day or night it is, if anything unusual such as a jail lock down has occurred, the staffing at the time at the jail, if it is close to 2 am when the bar closes and if they had or communicated any medical issues while in the jail.

When will the bail agent post the bond?

There are many myths regarding how fast a bond can be posted and it is often a sales tool or should I say trick to get you to use a certain company because you believe that they can get your friend or family out of jail faster than someone else. Well in most cases especially county jail even if a bondsman was standing at the jail this is not true. The simplest answer is as soon as the application paperwork and money are received along with any collateral should it be required. This often depends on the person taking care of these things as much as the bondsman themselves. Once these things are received it will usually take 15 minutes to one hour for a bondsman to post the bond depending on how busy the jail is. Click Orange County bailbonds to learn more.