A bail bondsman can help you when you cannot afford bail for yourself or a loved one. But what if you miss a court date? Can a bail bondsman arrest you? Here is what a bailsman can or cannot do according to the law:
What Does a Bail Bondsman Do?
Bail bondsmen work closely with law enforcement and follow rigorous regulations. A licensed bondsman is allowed to post a bond on behalf of the accused. They also help keep them accountable with regard to appearing in court.
Bail agents will examine each case before determining whether or not they will post bond. They can choose not to work with someone with a history of skipping bail. Appearing in court when necessary will help build trust with bond agents.
What Happens When You Miss Court While on Bail?
Missing court while free on bail is a serious offense. When an accused person misses court after being released on bond, the bail bond company will have to look for them. If found, they will return to jail where they will remain until the trial ends.
If the bondsman fails to capture the accused, the bond company will have to forfeit the bail money to the court. The bail bondsman will then keep the defendant’s collateral as payment. The defendant loses the collateral that they would have recovered after closing the case.
How Can a Bondsman Make an Arrest?
Bail bondsmen are not law enforcement personnel, so they cannot arrest. But they can send out a bounty hunter to find a suspect who fails to appear in court. When the bounty hunter captures the suspect, they will have to stay in detention until their court appearance date.
Who Is a Bounty Hunter?
A bounty hunter is an expert employed to find fugitives or criminals. They could work independently or be part of a company. Bondsmen often hire them to find and detain people who have skipped bail.
Bounty hunters may have experience in the military or law enforcement. They could also have firearms in their possession. Some states require bounty hunters to have licenses while others do not.
What Can a Bounty Hunter Legally Do?
Bounty hunters work to uphold the law and safeguard the public. In the United States, bounty hunters are covered under state laws. Bounty hunters have the same power as police officers when making an arrest.
They can do the following:
- Enter the home or place of business of the accused without a warrant
- Use force to seize the accused if necessary
Bounty hunters shouldn’t abuse their power or cause unnecessary harm.
How Can You Avoid Arrest After Missing Court?
When you are released on bail, you have a duty to appear in court each time without fail. Let your bail bondsman know if you skip court due to unavoidable circumstances to avoid arrest. There aren’t many circumstances the court will accept for missing a trial. Your agent will guide you on the way forward to avoid re-arrest and safeguard your collateral.