Bond Forfeiture

Definition - What does Bond Forfeiture mean?

Bond forfeiture occurs when a criminal defendant previously released on bail violates the conditions of that bail release. When a person is arrested, he or she may be held in jail while the criminal case proceeds. In some instances, the person may be released pending trial by providing bail funded by cash, a bond, or property. This deposit is intended to guarantee that the person will return for trial and comply with all other terms of his or her release.

If the person flees or violates the terms of the release, he or she forfeits the value that was deposited as a guarantee. A bond forfeiture is the technical term used when the guarantee was paid in the form of a surety bond. Bond forfeiture may sometimes be called bail forfeiture or bail bond forfeiture.

WorkplaceTesting explains Bond Forfeiture

The rules of bail or bond forfeiture will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. States and counties may set different rules and requirements. However, all such laws and guidelines are subject to federal constitutional protections. Most forfeiture rules provide that notice of a violation be sent to the defendant and any third party who has funded a surety bond on his or her behalf. Third party guarantors are often called bail bondsman. Usually, there will be an opportunity to take action or be heard in court before a bond forfeiture is completed.

A bond forfeiture becomes final once an order or judgment of forfeiture is issued. After this occurs, the money or other property paid by the defendant as a guarantee of compliance is turned over to the court. If a bondsman provided a surety bond guaranteeing the defendant's appearance at trial the bondsman must pay the court. In a case where the bail bondsman had paid the defendants bail and it has been forfeited, the bondsman will seek repayment from the defendant.

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