When it comes to anything related to the law, prepare yourself for lots of technical terms and jargon. Words like “misdemeanor” and “bondsmen” and “bail forfeiture” start flying around and you’re expected to understand them. This is especially important if you’re the one in trouble. One term that you should make sure you understand bail. Bail can be critical and skipping out on your bail can have serious consequences.
What is Bail?
If you’re dealing with a misdemeanor (a criminal offense that can usually be resolved with a fine or a short prison sentence) or a non-violent crime, the person being accused of the crime can post bail. Bail is a kind of security, usually in the form of money, given in order to release the accused person from prison. When you pay bail, it leaves the courts with a guarantee that the accused person will actually show up for their court dates because if they don’t, you’ll never see that money again.
What is a Bail Bond?
If you’ve landed yourself in jail, but you can’t get help from friends or family to pay that bail, you can hire a bail bondsman. For a fee, a bail bondsman will cover your bail and have you out of jail. In most cases, you agree to pay them a certain percentage of the bail amount. This is how they make a profit. Make sure you carefully read the contract you sign. This is a serious situation with serious consequences if you don’t live up to your end of the bargain.
What if I Don’t Appear in Court?
Down the road, if you fail to show up at court on your assigned court day, the bail funds are released and the bondsman may sue you for repayment. If they can’t get their money using this tactic, the bondsmen may send a bounty hunter to track you down and return you to the custody of the court. Sounds fun, right? These bounty hunters are trained to track people down and use whatever means necessary to get them back to court. Bail bondsman have a lot at stake in this kind of situation, especially if your bail was for a significant amount of money. Trying to evade court orders and get out of repaying your bail amount will only get you into more trouble.
Basically, if you’re thinking of skipping out on a bail bond, think again. Getting arrested and put into jail is a serious situation. When you choose to hire a bail bondsman to get you out of jail, you are agreeing to appear in court at your assigned time and get that money back to the bondsman. These are not things to be taken lightly. If you choose to try to skip out on your bail bond agreement, you will not only be in trouble with the law, you will now be in trouble with the bondsman. Just keep things simple by doing what you said you would do and showing up when you said you would show up.