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Bond forfeiture

Bond forfeiture occurs when a defendant fails to comply with the conditions of their bail agreement, prompting the court to keep the bail money and issue an arrest warrant. Bail is a sum of money that a defendant provides as assurance they will attend all required court proceedings. The bail is usually returned if the defendant appears as promised, regardless of the case’s outcome. However, if they fail to show up, the court retains the bail amount and issues a bench warrant for their arrest.
The bond forfeiture process typically begins with the court setting a new hearing, allowing the defendant to provide a valid excuse for their absence. The court proceeds with the forfeiture if the defendant or their attorney does not present a satisfactory explanation. In some cases, a bail bond agent may be involved, having initially paid the bail on behalf of the defendant for a fee. When forfeiture occurs, the bail bond agent is liable for the entire bail amount, potentially leading them to seek reimbursement from the defendant or their co-signers.
To prevent bond forfeiture, defendants must comply with all bail conditions, attend all court proceedings, and maintain open communication with their attorney and bail bond agent if applicable. In cases where forfeiture has already occurred, seeking legal counsel can help navigate setting aside the forfeiture and resolving the situation.

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