Can You Go to Jail for Not Paying Bail Bonds?
At A Way Out Bail Bonds, we understand that people are human and that humans make mistakes. If you or a loved one ends up in jail for whatever reason, posting bail is how someone is released from custody while they await trial or for a decision to be appealed.
Paying bail is a legal way for a person to prove to a judge that they will, in fact, return to court to stand trial for the accusations that got them arrested in the first place. Bail money is paid directly to the court, and that money is also held by the court. If a person does not actually return and show up for their court date, the bail money is forfeited, and there is a larger problem that now needs to be addressed.
When someone is arrested and cannot pay the bail money on their own, a bail bond agency can help. Through contacting a bail bond agent directly or having a friend or family member help, the person arrested can hire an agent to support them. The arrested party signs a legal contract with the bail bond agency, and there is a fee associated with the services that must be provided in full up front. These fees are a percentage of the posted bail amount set by the court and are known as the “bond.” Bonds can range widely in cost depending on the arresting situation.
The idea behind a bail bond agency contract is that a person only has to pay a small percentage of the larger bail amount posted by the court for their initial release from jail. This allows people to get out of jail quickly and have a support system during their time of need. Once the person originally arrested actually shows up to court, the bail is considered to be paid, and the only cost out of pocket is the bond or fee to the bail bond agency.
What Happens If You Don’t Pay the Bail Bond?
Although this situation is not as common because most bail bond amounts are required to be paid in full up front or are cash only, sometimes a person can be released from jail before the bail bond money is paid or paid in full. Long story short though, if a person does not pay the bail bond agency the correct amount of bond money required in a timely fashion, that person will return to jail.
They did not uphold their end of the bail bond fee contract, and it is a violation of the agreement and trust with the court as well. Bail bond agents have to work within the realm of the court system as well, so not providing payment puts them in a bad position too. Bail bond agencies have relationships with the court and jail representatives to ensure a person arrested upon release actually shows back up for their court date.
Ramifications for Not Paying a Bail Bond
While not paying a bail bond has obvious ramifications such as jail time and is a huge breach of trust with the legal court and bail bond agency helping a person out, there are other issues that arise from not paying:
- By failing to pay a bail bond, an agency no longer offers support services to that person at all.
- By not paying a bail bond, the bail bond agent has no more responsibility to the person or to the court, so the bail has, in fact, not been paid or excused.
- If someone is not able to pay their bail on their own and loses the trust by not paying the bond fee, this negative action appears on a person’s record.
- A negative action on a person’s record will make it that much harder to work with another bail bond agency in the city.
- The bail bond agency now must get a person to pay back what they owe, and this can become a civil offense if payment is not received.
- Bail bond agents and their agencies can take violators to civil court, and the odds are in the bail bond agents’ favor.
- The court will more often than not always side with the bail bond agency and will mandate a payment, which can include garnishing a person’s wages.
- Not paying a bail bond opens someone up to being sued as well.
Overall, someone needing the support of a bail bond agency needs to understand the financial commitment involved when signing a contract so a bad situation does not become worse due to nonpayment.
At A Way Out Bail Bonds, we proudly support the residents of Arlington, Fort Worth, and Tarrant County and are available 24/7. Our fast, licensed, and professional team can help you or your loved one in a difficult situation. Give us a call or stop by our office in Arlington.