If a loved one of yours was released on bail but has now missed their court date, you are probably concerned. Even if you are not the one who put up bail, you know your loved one is now in more serious trouble, and you probably want to know how you can help and what is expected of you in this sort of situation. Keep reading, and you'll discover the answers to questions that people in situations like your own typically have.
What happens to the bail money?
That depends who put up the money for bail. If you paid the bail yourself, you are likely out the funds. The condition of bail is usually that the funds will be returned to the payee once the person shows up for their court date, and since your loved one did not show, the funds will be kept by the court. If you do manage to convince the person to come back to town and report to the court, they will probably be re-jailed until the court date. You might get some, but not all, of the bail money back. You would have to pay to bail them out again—which may not be the best choice, considering their record.
If a bail bond company paid to get your loved one out of jail, nothing changes financially on your end. You paid the fee to the bail bond company, and they keep that money from you no matter what. They are, however, out the money that they put up as bail for your loved one. Because of that, you can expect them to start working hard to bring your loved one back into custody so they can recoup at least some of their funds.
What if you put something up as collateral?
If you put up physical collateral, like your home, car, or jewelry, in order to bail your friend out of jail, you risk losing this item if they do not show up to their court date. In most cases, there will be a period of "forgiveness" during which if your loved one does return, the court will not seize your property and will instead demand a cash fine. After that period is up, however, the court could send a representative to your home to claim the collateral.
Should you turn your loved one in?
If you know where your loved one is and perhaps why they skipped out on their court date, you are faced with a real conundrum. Do you betray them and turn them into the court? In most cases, it is a good idea to tell the court where your loved one is spending their time. (Or if you worked with a bail bond company, tell them. They can send a bounty hunter out to collect your friend and bring them into court.)
If your friend is avoiding their court dates, they are technically a fugitive, and you could be charged for aiding and abetting them if you're aware of their whereabouts and don't report it. Plus, if you do turn your friend in, you will at least get some of the bail money back, even though it won't be the full amount since they've skipped their initial court date.
Deciding what to do and where to turn after your friend skips bail can seem overwhelming. If you have any questions about your role in the matter or what to do, contact the court where your friend was supposed to appear. If you hired a bail bondsman service, they can also be a good source of information to rely on.Share
11 March 2019
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