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Voluntary & Involuntary Bail Forfeiture in Utah

Bail Forfeiture

If you are required to appear in court and have posted bail, someone else has posted it for you, or a bail bond agency has posted bail on your behalf, it is important to understand “bail forfeiture.” There are various circumstances under which bail forfeiture can occur. Here is information to help clarify the ways bail is forfeited, what happens in these different situations, and what your options are in the event of forfeiture of bail in Utah.

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If you need to post bail, whether for yourself or for a friend or family member, it’s good to understand the ins and outs of bail forfeiture.

Bail in Different Counties

What is Bail Forfeiture?

For most misdemeanors (a criminal offense less serious than a felony that can usually be taken care of with a fine or a short prison sentence) and non-violent crimes, the accused person can post bail. Bail is a type of security, usually money, given in exchange for the release of someone who has been arrested. This payment helps guarantee that the arrested person will show up for future court dates as their case is considered and decided. So, what is bail forfeiture you ask? Well, bail forfeiture is when the bail is released to the court without the possibility of future repayment. Basically, it means you won’t be seeing that bail money again.

What Happens If My Bail Money Was Forfeited?

Involuntary vs. Voluntary Bail Forfeiture

Bail can be released involuntarily or voluntarily. Involuntary bail forfeiture can happen when a person fails to appear at court after they have been released from custody. Unless they have a good reason for missing their scheduled court appearance, they lose their bail money. The case isn’t over yet, though. Failure to appear in court means a warrant is issued for the arrest of the defendant. With this new arrest comes a new bail amount that the defendant will need to cover in order to be released again.

In some cases, a defendant can voluntarily release the bail they paid in order to cover legal fees, court costs, and other fines that come up in the course of their case. However, this money can only be used to cover court fees and fines. They cannot be applied toward payments to a victim.

Voluntary Bail Forfeiture In-Depth

There are many misdemeanor cases in which a citation can take the place of formal filing in court. In such cases, with the court’s permission, a defendant may waive court appearances and voluntarily forfeit his or her bail. Under Utah Code 77–20b-104, such voluntary forfeiture of bail constitutes a conviction, and it is treated by the court as a guilty plea. So, for some minor offenses, it can be practical to opt for bail forfeiture, but for more serious charges, it is important to consider the consequences of voluntarily forfeiting bail.

This means that a conviction is entered into your criminal record. The conviction will appear in criminal background checks, and bail forfeiture can also disqualify you for an expungement, depending on what else is on your existing criminal record. It can also impact your ability to obtain a reduction of your conviction (also called a 402 reduction).

If you intend to plead guilty and want to avoid the cost of hiring a defense attorney, in Utah forfeiting your bail may be a good decision. But, if you are facing serious charges before you decide on bail forfeiture, you need to consult with an experienced Utah criminal lawyer. Your attorney will help you make sure you are entirely clear on all your rights and on all the consequences of voluntarily forfeiting bail in lieu of any other options you may have available to you.

Involuntary Bail Forfeiture In-Depth

If a defendant does not appear in court when required, the judge can order forfeiture of bail or retention of the bail. This means the court has effectively seized ownership of the bond money. In such circumstances, generally, neither the defendant nor the bail bonds company will receive a return of the bail money, although there are exceptions.

After bail forfeiture occurs, the state of Utah allows the person who posted the bail a maximum of six months to deliver the defendant in court in order to prevent permanent loss of the bail posted. The person who posted the bail can then approach the court for the release of the bail money. The individual must present an acceptable reason why the court should grant a return of the forfeited bail money to the person who posted it with the court.

The reason(s) provided in the request to recover forfeited bail must explain why the defendant did not appear in court when required. Sufficient explanations might include, for example, being in jail in some other location or being in the hospital. Or, if the defendant was not notified of the date he/she was required to appear in court, this may be viewed by the judge as a good reason for failing to appear.

For more detailed information about bail forfeiture, see Utah Code77-20b-104 Forfeiture of Bail, published on the Utah Courts website.

When Defendant Can’t Pay the Bail Amount

It’s not uncommon for a defendant to need help posting bail. Often, funds are posted by friends or family members. If bail money is released to the court because of involuntary bail forfeiture, those who originally paid the bail will have to get paid back by the defendant. If the defendant hopes to use the bail amount to cover court costs with a voluntary forfeiture, the court will need to get authorization from the person who posted the bail in the first place.

If a defendant can’t get help from friends or family, they can also choose to hire a bail bondsman. Bail bondsmen will cover the bail amount for a fee. Usually, they get paid a certain percentage of the bail amount. If the defendant doesn’t show up at court when they’re supposed to and the funds are released involuntarily, the bondsman may sue the defendant for repayment. If this doesn’t work, the bondsmen may get permission from the court to delay forfeiture and send a bounty hunter to find the defendant and return them to custody. Not a good situation.

Bail Forfeitable Offenses

There are some cases where, in certain areas of the country, a bail forfeiture can be used both to gain release from custody and to close the case. In this kind of situation, the defendant posts bail and is released from custody. If they choose to appear at court, they may contest their case. Winning means the bail amount is returned to them. If they choose not to appear in court, the case is closed and the bail amount is automatically released to the court. This option is not available in all states, so you’ll want to research your local laws regarding bail forfeitable offenses.

What If a Bail Bonds Agency Posted My Bail That Was Forfeited?

For information about Utah laws governing bail bondsmen, issuance of bail bonds, bail forfeiture, and consumer rights as they pertain to bail bonds, see Utah Code77-20b-104 at the Utah Courts website.

Contact the Top Bail Bonds Agency 

If you need more information about bail forfeiture or to get a bail bond in Utah, call Bad Boys Bail Bonds, Utah 24/7 at (801) 895-4014, or use our online contact request for a prompt response.

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Thank you guys. Larry was knowledgeable and helpful. He had his agent with in an hour at the jail. He explained what u need to bring with me so we can get my brother out.
anastasia timoshenko
anastasia timoshenko
20:57 09 Sep 22
They were available on Easter Sunday and were very professional. They were on time and made the process very easy. I would definitely recommend them.
The owner is amazing and helped out so much. Highly recommend!!
Brianna Kirstine
Brianna Kirstine
16:19 16 Mar 20
My boyfriend got arrested and I had no idea what to do. Larry and Mike were amazing throughout the whole process. If I ever go through this situation again I will give Bad Boys a call!!
Gabi Dowland
Gabi Dowland
06:11 28 Feb 20
Good people working there!
Kate Mackenzie
Kate Mackenzie
03:18 29 Jan 20
These guys are amazing. They are very knowledgeable, they explained everything very thoroughly and they were quick. They literally met up with me within 30 minutes of calling and started paper work. Highly recommend them!
Lindsay Mashburn
Lindsay Mashburn
01:54 11 Jan 20
Larry and his team are awesome! I called around noon and by 430 we helped and on our way! They didn't make me feel stupid about the situation I found myself in. They made sure I understood the situation and that I would be able to keep the promises I was about to make. Super down to earth and absolutely pleasant to work with. I hope non of y'all require these services but if you do 10/10 would recommend
ollie baum
ollie baum
14:33 31 May 19
So Larry and his staff ,have been awesome for me and my family and my wife, they actually care about treating you as a human being,rather than a pay day.I would recommend Badboys to anyone that is tired of being treated like a subhuman,or a number
Babe Trujillo
Babe Trujillo
19:24 27 Apr 19
To the Bad Boys Bail Bondsman of Salt Lake City!!87 days ago we spent as a family effortless hours trying to locate our brother!! BECAUSE he is clinical it made the ordeal looking for him that much harder. By the grace of God and social media we located him here and Utah and after driving 11 hours from chaotic California to Utah and having the experience of such a serene peaceful Majestic atmosphere we don't question why he ended up here anymore we're just thankful to God he did!Knocking on so many doors that did not open and spending countless hours making phone calls that went unreturned left us IN despair!!But the Creator lead us to Google and when we typed in bail bondsman Bad Boys was the first bail bondsman at the top of the list!! Thank you so very much to the owner Larry and his incredible compassionate employee Mike if it were not for these two men spending countless hours on the phone allowing us to share our story, our experience, our hopes and prayers we would have not been able to execute a bail bond and release for our brother and father.Words cannot express our gratitude but we are so thankful for the day that you picked up the phone, and allowed us to vent took into consideration the story and evidence and in the most humanitarian way treated our brother as if he were YOUR OWN👍😁.TO ANYONE WHO FINDS HIM OR HERSELF IN A SITUATION OF NEED LIKE WE DID!! DON'T HESITATE TO CALL THIS COMPANY AND ASK FOR LARRY. He's a great listener, he's a great educator of the law and human rights his employees work diligently and effortlessly to make sure that they treat each and every situation in their own way with critical care.To BAD BOYS BAIL BOND WE'RE FOR EVER GRATEFUL AND YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE FAMILY IN CALIFORNIA AS WE KNOW WE HAVE FAMILY IN HERE IN UTAH.LOVE 4EVER,CHANDLER FAMILY
Latoya Chandler
Latoya Chandler
02:35 27 Mar 19
They have changed my whole life I’ve never seen so much care and compassion id recommend 200 times over my family is going home so complete and happy
Salihahdaone Emajesty
Salihahdaone Emajesty
02:15 27 Mar 19
Sorry, not my real last name but my review is. I talked with the owner Mike and I cannot say enough good words about him so "awesome" will have to do. And the Bail Agent Mike was also. Both gentlemen were very quick, knowledgeable, friendly, professional, and extremely helpful. They both made my dealing with this situation so much easier. I highly recommend Bad Boys Bail Bonds if you find yourself, family or friends in need if bail.
Stephen Greho
Stephen Greho
22:51 15 Feb 19
I highly recommend Bad Boys Bail Bonds. This is the first time my family and I have ever had to use such a service, and we’re glad that our first time experience was a pleasant one! They work quickly and effectively! I worked with my Mike and he did a great job simplifying the process and making sure I was aware of my situation and the things I needed to take care of.He also clarified what to do if certain scenarios were to come to fruition, and that we can just call them! I hope I never have to use such a service again, but if it does, I will definitely contact them.Words of a Free Man.
John Otu
John Otu
19:08 11 Jan 19
I wasn't able to use his services cuz I got OR'd but great man
Daniel Houston
Daniel Houston
19:11 10 Jan 19
These guys are awesome Larry was great helped us get someone out without having to pay a bail they are awesome.
melece kirkham
melece kirkham
16:42 01 Jan 19
This company has been nothing but kind and professional with me. I spent over an hour talking with the owner after getting me out of jail ASAP. I can tell you it is more than the bail money they want but a very very very strong desire to help people that drives this company. I strongly recommend them if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing a bond. If I could give them more than 5 stars I would gladly give 100’s. You can not go wrong with them!!!! I don’t rate companies online but after the service provided to me they whole hearted deserved my comments. AAA+ company!!!!
Jeremiah Taylor
Jeremiah Taylor
12:17 14 Nov 18
I can’t thank Larry and Kendall enough for all they did. Very fast and professional. Larry talked me into waiting two days for my son to go to court and the bail was reduced significantly, saving me a lot of money. He could have taken my money initially as I was ready to pay, but after talking me through the process he helped me to see it wasn’t just about money to him, it was about helping others. Kendall came to my house, I don’t drive at night, he was fast professional and very knowledgeable. I would highly recommend Bad Boys if you want to be treated fairly and know the process.
Stan Nowak
Stan Nowak
03:12 19 Oct 18
Larry went above and beyond for my family this week. He answered all my questions and did everything in his power to help us get through this difficult time. He stayed on the line while I cried my heart out. He worked with us every step of the way and never brushed me off. He made everything convenient and easy for us. I recommend you to everyone! Thank you for your awesome service
davy sy
davy sy
18:42 29 Jun 18
I needed answers to questions and had no previous experience with bail bonds. Bad boys was very respectful and professional and answered all my questions and made sure that I understood everything I needed to know in helping a loved one through a difficult time. I would definately recommend Bad Boys Bail Bonds to anyone needing this type of service.
Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones
18:25 21 Oct 15
Bad Boys Bail Bonds have helped me in a couple of rough situations by being fair, understanding, and affordable. I could call them any day or night and get the help I needed which extends through the whole court process. I would definitely recommend Bad Boys Bail Bonds to anybody needing bonding and court services.
e davis
e davis
15:46 06 Oct 15
I've known Larry and Bad Boys Bail Bonds for years. They truly are on call 24/7 and have been nothing but courteous and professional, even when it takes them away from their personal lives. Thanks Larry and staff for always being there when needed.
Angilee DuBreuil
Angilee DuBreuil
03:18 06 Oct 15
I've been working with bad boys bail for many years and I've had nothing but friendly and helpful service..I have given lots of people their number and have heard the same thing from them thank u larry and ur staff..much appreciatedT
Jeffrey Manzanares
Jeffrey Manzanares
19:28 05 Oct 15
Bad boys are incredible, I have a cousin that tends to get himself in to trouble far too often and Larry has been great about always helping us out even though the trouble seems to be a repeat performance. He's very accommodating and kind to the entire family in the situation. Thanks, bad boys! :)
Ashley Lunt
Ashley Lunt
18:11 26 Feb 14
You never know when you or a loved one may be in need of a bail bond. Luckily, Bad Boys Bail Bonds is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year—available to get customers the help they need when they need it. They’re able to provide assistance that’s quick and friendly—both important qualities in a world where bail bondsmen can be difficult to deal with. When you need a bail bond, you also need a team with experience. The team at Bad Boys Bail Bonds has over 25 years in the bail bonds business. They are a local, family-owned business with agents in different locations throughout Utah to better serve their customers. They can often deal with out of state cases as well. They listen to your case, make sure they understand what you need, and do all they can to help you out. And you don’t have to worry about Bad Boys Bail Bonds sharing information about your case. The information you give with them stays confidential.
Tori Edwards
Tori Edwards
17:01 11 Jul 13


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P.O. Box 1286
Salt Lake City, Utah 84110
United States
Phone (801) 895-4014

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