A Notice of Forfeiture is an official court document that is sent to the Bail Bond Company by certified mail. It informs the Company that a defendant released on cash bail either failed to appear in court, or otherwise violated a condition of their bail. Once the notice has been received the court then holds the authority to declare the bail bond forfeited. It is often a legal requirement that notice of the forfeiture be sent to the defendant and to their surety. Once the surety is notified, they typically have these four options.
• Produce the defendant to court
• Provide the court with an acceptable excuse for the defendant’s absence
• Pay the forfeited bond
• Or they can face any additional consequences of failing to do any of the above remedy options
For the defendant to remedy this situation their self, they will have to get a new court date through either of the following options. The first and easiest option is usually for the defendant to go directly to the court and schedule a new court date their self. And the second option is for them to hire an attorney to schedule a new court date for them.
It is common that a third-party posts the defendant’s bail, whether it is a family member, a friend or professional bail bondsman. When bond forfeiture occurs, the court takes those funds, and it’s up to the surety to try and recoup the money lost from the defendant. The bail bondsman might also request that the court delay bail forfeiture so it can hire a bounty hunter to find the defendant who skipped bail and return him to the court.
Forfeiture is appropriate for violation of a release condition only if the parties have agreed to the condition. A bail bond is a contract between the government and the defendant and his/her surety.
It is important to keep in mind that forfeiture would not be appropriate for breach of a condition imposed by the court without notice.
This is a general article for example purposes. As always, please contact us at 979-821-2663 regarding your specific case.