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What Is A Bond Forfeiture (Explained: All You Need To Know)

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What Is A Bond Forfeiture

Bond forfeiture occurs when a person who is required to appear in court on a bond fails to make the required appearance.

In other words, by failing to appear in court, the person violates the terms of his or her condition to be free during the legal proceedings.

By issuing a bond forfeiture, the court revokes the person’s personal or surety bond.

Then, a warrant for the person’s arrest will be issued to have law enforcement locate the person and bring that person before the court.

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Bond Forfeiture Definition

In law, bond forfeiture refers to the instance when a person who was required to personally appear before the court on a personal bond or surety bond fails to do so.

In a sense, bond forfeiture is the enforcement of a guarantee.

For example, a person was charged with a crime but released during the proceedings on a personal bond.

If the accused fails to show up in court by a required date, the court will issue a bond forfeiture resulting in the revocation of the personal bond and the issuance of an arrest warrant.

In other cases, if there was bail, the bail bonds are forfeited and the bail bondsman or bondswoman will have to pay the outstanding bail.

How Does Bond Forfeiture Work

In the United States, bond forfeiture refers to the enforcement of a guarantee given by a person under a guarantee agreement given by a person given the ability to remain free while legal proceedings are ongoing.

A “bond” is an amount that the court establishes to ensure that the defendant appears in court when and as required.

If the defendant misses a court date, the bond is forfeited.

When there is bail bond forfeiture, the person who had put up the bond will have to pay the defendant’s bail.

Typically, forfeited bonds are non-refundable and the cash or property paid becomes the property of the state.

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Bond Forfeiture Hearing

When a defendant misses a court date and is considered to have forfeited his or her bond, the court can require a bond forfeiture hearing.

During this hearing, the court will hear the defendant’s grounds for missing the court date.

If the defendant is present at the hearing and demonstrates good cause, the court may decide that the bond is not forfeited.

However, if the defendant does not have valid grounds for missing the court date or remains absent, the court will confirm the bond forfeiture and issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.

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Bond Forfeiture Defenses

Defendants that miss a court date are given the opportunity to defend themselves and provide explanations as to why they missed their court date.

If the court accepts the defendant’s defense grounds, the court will not have the defendant’s bond forfeited.

On the other hand, if the defendant cannot justify why the court date was missed, then it will result in a bond forfeiture.

The most common defense arguments against bond forfeitures are the death of the defendant, physical incapacity, mental incapacity, the defendant’s confinement, or deportation.

The courts are typically not clement with defendants that miss their court date.

If the court finds the defendant responsible for missing their court date, they can put into action the enforcement of the bond and the defendant can have fines, penalties, and other adverse consequences.

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Bond Forfeiture FAQ

What is a bail bond forfeiture?

A bail bond forfeiture is when a defendant violates the terms of his or her bail agreement and the court requires that the bond be paid in full.

Typically, the defendant or the defendant’s agent will contact their bail agent so the bail bond company can post the required bail.

Can I get out if I have a bond forfeiture?

Bond forfeitures are presented to the judge whose court was missed by the defendant.

If you have been detained, you will most likely remain in custody until you can be brought before the judge.

It’s not likely that you will be able to see the judge on weekends or after business hours.

Also, the judge may not be available for several days before you can be heard.

How does bond forfeiture affect the bail process?

If a defendant was released on cash bail or property bail and violates his or her bail conditions, the court can order the bail bond forfeited.

When the bail bond is forfeited, the bond must be paid in full, the defendant must be produced in court, and the court can sanction the defendant for violating bail agreement conditions.


So there you have it folks!

What is a bond forfeiture?

“Bond forfeiture” happens when a person released on a personal or surety bond fails to show up in court by the required date.

When a person fails to show up, the court can order a bond forfeiture hearing where the defendant is given the opportunity to explain why he or she missed the court date.

If the defendant’s explanations are not convincing, the court will order bond forfeiture requiring the defendant to pay the bond in full, revoke the person’s personal or surety bond, and order the defendant’s arrest.

If you are dealing with a bond forfeiture matter, remember to contact a qualified criminal attorney to help you out.

Good luck with your research!

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Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!


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