What Happens If Someone Fails To Appear In Court?

If a person has been arrested and charged with a crime it is not uncommon for them to be released on bail pending their trial. People need to keep in mind, though, that just because they have been granted a temporary release from jail, this is not to say their legal issues are over. The defendant must still return to court on a set date and time in order to have the matter decided by a judge. In fact, there may be several court appearances required depending on the case.

When a person fails to appear for court, there are several things that will happen. First, the judge will issue a bench warrant for their immediate arrest. The defendant will be considered to be a fugitive from justice and the bail bonds company that bailed out the defendant will be granted the ability to track, locate, detain and return the individual to police custody. If the defendant is rearrested, they will likely be denied bail because the court may deem them to be untrustworthy.

It is generally a matter of time before someone who fails to appear is rearrested, because any encounter with police, including traffic stops, can land them back in jail. Even employment background checks and travel situations will alert the authorities to the defendant’s whereabouts.

Getting Back Into Court

If someone is out on bail and fails to appear in court by simple mistake or circumstances, for example due to illness, being stuck in traffic, or getting lost on the way to the court house, this is something that is easily remedied. In this instance the defendant should call their bail bondsman immediately (or the clerk of the court if a bondsman was not used). The bondsman will provide them with a document called a “reassumption of liability” and that document will allow the defendant to have their court date rescheduled.

Failure to appear for court, even if it is due to a simple mistake, is a serious matter and should not be considered lightly. People should be sure to take their legal matter seriously and do everything they can in order to have it resolved as quickly as possible.

For more information on California bail bonds assistance, call Tonya Page Bail Bonds at 1-877-861-3761.

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 Updated:  02/22/2012