Jeff Downer Defendants who fail to appear (FTA) and become fugitives are a fact of life. Since the insuring a defendant’s risk of failing to appear is the basis of the commercial bail industry, posting the bail of someone who has chosen to become a fugitive and subsequently been returned to court can be problematic.
While considering the effects of bonding someone out of custody after a FTA, think of a car insurance. A car insurer assumes financial responsibility for damages caused in automobile accidents. The occurrence of car accidents is going to change the dynamics of the relationship between the car owner and the insurance company. Things are going to be different after an accident and may include:
- The cost of insurance can increase.
- The deductible may become larger
- The policy can be cancelled.
In bail bonding a FTA, like a car accident, is going to change the dynamics of the bail bondsman and defendant relationship:
- More premium may be required for a new and larger court ordered bond amount.
- Cash collateral may now be expected.
- Additional co-signers could be necessary.
- Real property could be required to secure the bail bond with a mortgage.
- Conditions such as check ins and electronic monitoring may be put in place.
- The bonding company may decline to post any further bail for the defendant.
Keep in mind the court is going to have final say in the matter and is under no obligation to let the defendant out on bond again. If the judge permits another bail bond, amounts can be increased and the court may impose additional conditions of its own.
All the above is not to say on occasions such as being hit by a bus on the way to court can’t result in the judge and the bonding company agreeing to adhere to the original bond and conditions, but it is important to remember that will take place at their option and not the defendant’s.