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How To Avoid Losing Bail When A Defendant Skips Their Court Date

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When you are bailing someone out of jail with the help of a bail bond service, it's essential to ensure you only bail out someone you trust. You could forfeit the entire bail amount if they do not attend court. When using a bail bond service, if you used collateral to secure the loan, you may lose that collateral. Fortunately, you can take steps to ensure that none of this happens. 

Help Them Out When Attending Court

After you have bailed someone out of jail, you should be involved in helping them attend court and meet their obligations. For example, there might be pre-bail conditions they must meet, such as remaining sober. You should stay in contact with them and ensure they follow each rule.

Respond Appropriately If You Think They Won't Attend Court

If you believe your friend will not attend a required court hearing, try to contact them and encourage them to go. If you cannot convince them, contact the bail bond service and explain the situation. 

Encourage Them to Surrender

If they skip bail and you can contact your friend, encourage them to surrender to the court. Doing so may allow you to keep the bail. They can alternatively surrender to the bail bond company. The judge will probably issue a warrant for their arrest. Anyone who assists the defendant in evading authorities can also face criminal charges. It's vital that you encourage your friend to surrender and that you cooperate with authorities.

Talk to the Bail Bondsman

After you have secured the services of a bail bond company, you will receive a bail bond agreement and a receipt. Therefore, you can keep track of the bail amount and collateral. When working with bail bond services, planning what to do if you lose the collateral and how to prepare yourself financially is essential. 

Fortunately, a bail bond service focuses primarily on ensuring that your friend attends the court hearing so you do not have to forfeit the bail. There might be a valid reason for the defendant's inability to participate in the court hearing, such as if they were hospitalized in a car accident.

Reschedule the Hearing

A bail bond service will be able to assist your friend in being granted a "continuance," which essentially means that the court hearing will be rescheduled. They can also advise you on gathering evidence to prove that there was a valid reason to miss the court hearing.

Contact a local service provider to learn more about surety bail bonds.