Failure to Appear
Warrants for Failure to Appear for a scheduled hearing are commonly issued as cash bail bonds. The Court looks upon a Failure to Appear like a slap in the face; its attitude is if you post bail and skip a hearing, we are keeping the bail money! A Failure to Appear is the number one cause for bond forfeiture and the number one concern for all bail bondsmen. It is the Failure to Appear that caused the birth of Bail Bonds and the Bail Bond Industry. If the Court believed everyone would show for all of their hearings a bail bond would be unnecessary.
Clients with a history of Failure to Appear will be expected to provide good solid collateral if we using our cash. Sometimes a Defendant's track record is so bad that the only option available to the Defendant/cosigner is where we are posting their cash, or they are using a credit card for the full amount of bail.
In spite of the problematic nature of Failures to Appear, there always seems to be 100 valid reasons why someone missed Court. Some of the most common excuses are:
- The Court mailed the Subpoena to the wrong address.
- The Defendant went to the wrong Court.
- The Defendant had a family emergency.
- The Defendant is in the hospital.
- My attorney didn't tell me my appearance was necessary.
- My car broke down.
Although many of the above reasons seem valid enough, it generally takes a Forfeiture Hearing to get off the hook. The best course of action is to plan ahead and leave nothing to chance. In spite of planning ahead, emergencies do happen, when they do, call the Court, your attorney and your bail bondsman immediately. Explain the situation and be prepared to provide written documentation for why you did not show for your hearing.
Bounty Hunters work for a percentage of the bond, usually 10% plus expenses. They spend most of their time hunting for bail jumpers. It can be a very dangerous profession.