The title of this article brings up the old adage “it’s not your fault, but it is your problem.” It’s very likely that you, as the person who put up the money, had the belief that the person you helped would stick around and show up for their day in court. If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t have helped them in the first place. Now they’re in a lot more trouble than they ever would have been.
There’s a good chance that the entire bail bonds experience was strange and new to you when you first contacted us about bail money, but dealing with someone who has skipped bail is something even more complex and confusing. Let’s take a look at how you should deal with the situation.
Don’t Help Them Avoid the Law
You helped get that friend or relative get out of jail, but once they skip bail you should never help them avoid the law. The person who skipped bail might come to you in a desperate way, begging you for money to help them leave town.
Don’t do it. Doing so makes you an accessory to a crime, because that’s exactly what skipping bail is.
Don’t Ignore It
“Not helping them” might not be as easy as it sounds. If the person lives with you, you might leave for work in the morning and come back at 5:00 pm to find them still on the couch where you left them. You might ask them how their court date went, they’ll tell you they forgot, and they’re just hoping that will be the end of the conversation.
It can’t be. Even if you’re not handing them a wad of money and the keys to your car, you’re still providing them a place to stay when they they should have in court. Remember, there is now a warrant for their arrest because they didn’t show up for their court date. Giving them any shelter could get you into trouble.
No matter if a bail skip-ee has comes to you desperately or is absent-minded, you should…
Encourage Them To Seek Legal Help
The person who has skipped bail is now likely in serious trouble, but it will only get worse the longer they fail to make things right. It might be time for them get professional legal advice. In all likelihood the advice will be “turn yourself in now.” There will likely be other charges brought against them, but it’s better than evading the law and garnering a host of other charges. Judges can be lenient depending on the circumstances, but failure to address the issue only makes it worse.
Talk To Your Bail Bond Agent
As soon as you are aware that the person you helped post bail for failed to show up, contact the bail bondsman who provided the money. The money you put us is most likely forfeited to the court and agent, but there are circumstances in which you might get it back once the person has turned themselves in.
Someone skipping bail is a bad situation, but the faster it’s dealt with, the better. We hope it doesn’t happen to you.