Bail is used to ensure that defendants charged with crimes will not flee the jurisdiction while awaiting trial. Once the defendant’s trial has concluded, the bail is returned to the individual who posted it. If the defendant fails to appear, he/she risks having the bail forfeited.
Bail is set in almost all felony cases unless someone is charged with a crime that is punishable upon conviction with the death penalty or life in prison. In rare cases, an MDJ may deny bail if he or she determines that denying bail is the only way to ensure a defendant’s court appearance.
Although California Penal Code section 1271 presumptively entitles a defendant to bail, a court can deny bail in certain sex crimes cases. California Constitution Article I, Section 12 states the following:
“A person shall be released on bail by sufficient sureties, except for: ….(b) Felony offenses involving acts of violence on another person, or felony sexual assault offenses on another person, when the facts are evident or the presumption great and the court finds based upon clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial likelihood the person’s release would result in great bodily harm to others.”
What is Unsecured Bail?
Misdemeanor defendants are also sometimes released on “unsecured” bail. With unsecured bail, a bail amount is set by a judge, but no bail money is required “up front.” If the defendant then fails to appear in court, he or she may be ordered to pay the unsecured bail amount.
It is extremely rare in a misdemeanor case for the police to arrest a suspect and take that suspect for an immediate arraignment. However, if the suspect is homeless or is about to flee the state or nation, the police may deem the suspect a flight risk who cannot be dealt with in any other way.
What happens with a failure to appear in court?
If a defendant jumps bail, they also forfeit their bail. If you’re the cosigner, this means you also forfeit any bail money you may have paid. This is technically known as a failure to appear in court, and it is a crime. The court will issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest, and any fees or fines racked up during this period may become your responsibility.
If our client does not show up to court, then it is your responsibility as the cosigner to make sure that he/she is put back on the court calendar. If the defendant is not responsive and goes MIA, we reserve the right to apprehend them and place them back into custody. If we are unable to locate the inmate, ultimately you can be held financially responsible for the entire amount. Ex: If we posted a bond for $50,000 and the defendant does not show up to court, we can hold you responsible for the entire $50,000.
If at any point you believe that the defendant will not show up to court, it is urgent that you contact our office immediately. As the cosigner, you hold the right to request that your bonding company revoke the bail bond that was processed. If you don’t say anything to your bail company, you run the risk of the defendant not showing up and being responsible for the entire bail amount that was posted with the county jail.
This being said, even though you’re financially responsible for bail, you will not be criminally charged with anything.
Need help posting bail? We can help
Bail is the temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, sometimes on the condition that a sum of money is lodged to guarantee their appearance in court.
Southern California Jails We Service:
- Riverside County
- Los Angeles County
- Orange County
- San Bernadino County
- Santa Barbra County
- Ventura County
- Imperial County
Escondido Bail Bonds have the cheapest bail bonds with great services in all of Southern California and have a network of Licensed Bail Agents within 5 miles of every Jail. Please contact us with any questions in regards to the bail process or inmate information.
*Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ.