When it comes to bail and bail bonds, most people cannot differentiate between them. A bail is an amount that one posts to court in order to get out of jail; on the other hand, a bail bond is a contract signed by a defendant to secure his fast release. So, it is apparent that there is a sharp distinction between the two. Most people don’t always have ready access to the sum required to post as bail. Therefore, many defendants opt for the easy solution and go for bail bonds, an affordable alternative to cash bail. Continue reading this article to learn more about what happens if a defendant wants to skip trial.
Getting Bailed Out:
When someone is arrested, he is first taken to jail and later produced in court for a bail hearing. The judge decides a bail amount depending on the severity of the alleged crime and the defendant’s criminal record. The judge may consider the financial condition and set a lower bail amount for the offender. But the bail money may still seem excessive for some; therefore, bail bonds come to the rescue. In California, many bail agencies are working 24×7 to assist innocent defendants in getting bailed out from jail. For example, one may reach out to a Sacramento bail bondsman for a quick bail.
- When the defendant reaches out to a bail agency, he is assisted by a licensed bail agent known as bounty hunters. These agents have special powers given by the state law. Before bail, the defendant has to sign a legal agreement stating that he will follow the regulations mentioned in the contract.
- The agency charges a non-refundable payment for their service; it means even if the accused completes the trial process, he will not be refunded the fee paid to the bail agents.
Consequences of Skipping Bail:
When one is out on bail, he must maintain the bail protocols. He cannot travel to different states without permission, cannot contact the witness of the case, and so on. If the defendant is found violating the bail contract, he is tracked down and promptly arrested.
- The interesting thing is that both the police and the bail agents can arrest the defendant if he tries to skip bail. In California, the bail agents have the power to make a citizen’s arrest and bring the defendant back to police custody.
- If the defendant fails to pay the bail fee, a bounty hunter can arrest the defendant. But the agents cannot pass themselves as law enforcement officers as the act is against the state law. Therefore, in most cases, a bail agent cannot barge into someone’s house unannounced to arrest someone. It is unlikely that a bail agent will break into someone’s house to take the defendant in their custody.
- The bounty hunter must have a bail license and prior approval from law enforcement to arrest a fugitive. They have the right to catch him within six hours of getting permission. If they fail to get the outlaw in the said time, they must again ask for permission from law enforcement.