What happens if the defendant misses court or fails to comply with an order of the court?Posted: April 13, 2013
In a Bail Bond undertaking, the defendant promises both the court and their bail bondsman that they will appear in court as scheduled and that they will follow any instructions of the court. If the defendant fails to appear or violates an order of the court, they forfeit their bail bond agreement with both their bondsman and the court. It now becomes the bail bondsman’s responsibility to guarantee that the defendant is returned to the custody of the court. This process is called a Surrender and is essentially the same as an arrest.
This next part is really important!!!!
If the defendant cooperates with the bondsman, most often, arrangements can be made to keep the defendant out of jail until their case comes to court.
If the defendant fails to be cooperative, runs, hides or flees the jurisdiction, all bets are off. The bondsmen will make every effort to find the defendant within the bounds of the law. The bondsmen have a right to locate and seize (arrest) the defendant anywhere and at any time (see Taylor v. Taintor below). Furthermore, because the defendant failed to appear or violated a court order, an Order for Arrest will likely have been issued by the court for law enforcement to arrest the defendant. If the Police / Sheriff / Federal Agents find the defendant first, don’t bet on getting a new bail bond. If the bondsman locates the defendant first, they will surrender the defendant to the jurisdiction of the court from which the defendant was originally bonded (or from which the charges originated).
NOTE: If you’re reading this and you are a defendant “on the run”, ALL County Bail Bonds HIGHLY recommends that you immediately get in contact with your Bail Bondsman. You may have to go back, go before the magistrate, get a new bond, etc. but we can promise you that you have more options available to you if you’re cooperative than if you keep running.