Everything You Need To Know About A Loved One Skipping Bail

Criminal law and bail bonds can be confusing. However, it is important for you to understand your rights and responsibilities associated with them. If you happened to post bail or acquire a bail bond for someone you care about, some of the responsibilities even fall on you. Whether you have posted bail or obtained a bail bond for yourself or someone you care about, it is a good idea to learn more about bail bondsman, bounty hunters, and what happens when someone skips bail.

Exploring the Difference Between a Bail Bondsman and Bounty Hunter

A bail bondsman is employed by the Department of Insurance. His or her job is to pay the bail (in full), so the individual can be free until his or her court date. A bounty hunter, on the other hand, is a person a bondsman hires to hunt down a person who does not appear for his or her court date.

A bounty hunter is also commonly referred to as a bail enforcement agent. Bail bondsman hire bounty hunters because police departments do not have enough time or resources to pursue every single person who skips bail. After a bounty hunter captures a bail skipper, he or she will take the bail skipper back to court. Then, the bondsman can be released from the bond obligation and get the money back from the court.

In most cases, a bondsman will just pay the bounty hunter a percentage of the bond. This is usually between 10 and 20 percent. However, it can be more. It just depends on the bondsman and bounty hunter.

What Happens When Your Loved One Skips Bail?

The reason your loved one is hunted by a bounty hunter after skipping bail is because a judge has issued a warrant for his or her arrest. The moment the warrant is issued is the moment your loved one becomes a fugitive. If your loved one were to be pulled over by a cop, for example, your loved one would be immediately arrested for the bench warrant once the cop ran your loved one's license.

The unfortunate truth is cosigning on the bail bond agreement makes you financially responsible if your loved one were to skip bail. This responsibility would require you to pay the bondsman back the money he or she spent to get your loved one out of jail. Chances are pretty good the bounty hunter will also reach out to you and possibly even stop to visit you in order to make sure the fugitive is not staying with you. The only way for you to get out of this financial responsibility is for your loved one to go back to court and face the judge.