If the defendant doesn’t come to court, an order for their arrest is issued. The clerk of court notifies both the bondsman and the police. The police will start looking for the defendant, which either results in an extremely unpleasant experience or, more often, the police not having the time and resources to apprehend the defendant.
As soon as we find out about it, we will call the defendant (and co-signer and references if necessary). Often arrangements can be made for the defendant to turn themselves in at the jail. We meet them there and, if they are eligible, we usually can bond them back out again. A co-signer must meet us there to sign on the new bond; it can be the same person or someone different.
By doing this, the ball is in your court and the entire experience is usually quick and easy. While dealing with the situation is critical, we can often work with your schedule so that you don’t miss school, work, or important events.
Cooperation is crucial, because once the defendant takes care of business, no one has to pay on the bond and the cosigner is released from their obligations on the original bond.
Ultimately, the bondsman’s job is to ensure the defendant appear in court, and therefore if the defendant is unwilling to do the right thing, we have to go and make an arrest. The bond forfeiture is our warrant and we are able to enter the home and take them by force if necessary. We work hard to avoid that unpleasant experience for our clients and their cosigners. If the arrest is made in time, the cosigner is released from their obligation.
Unfortunately, if the defendant cannot be found, the cosigner and defendant are “jointly and severally” responsible to pay the bond in full. If that happens, our corporate office will be in touch to make arrangements and will pursue a judgement if necessary. For this reason, the cosigner should be willing to help us find the defendant if that should become necessary.
We understand that cosigning a bond is a big decision. We never want you to feel pressured to make this decision. If you have questions about the process and your obligations under the law, please do not hesitate to ask.