Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
Stay Informed. Follow Developments on Our Criminal Defense Blog.

Forfeiture of Bail in Orange County

If you were arrested without a warrant, you probably had the opportunity to be released from custody providing you posted bail according to Orange County’s bail schedule or the bail amount set by the judge. It can be costly to be released on bail, but in the end at least you’re at home where you belong. Once you’re out of jail, you can work and pay your bills while your case is pending in the courts.

When you post bail, you agree to show up at all of your required court appearances. If you fail to appear in court as required, your bail will be “forfeited” according to Section 1305 of the California Penal Code, but that’s not all. A bench warrant will be issued for your arrest for the Failure to Appear (FTA), so you’ll lose your freedom and you’ll lose your money.

If your failure to appear can be explained, it’s possible that the bail forfeiture will be set aside. Since so much is at stake, we advise having a criminal defense attorney represent you in court when addressing your failure to appear and bail forfeiture.

Bail Forfeiture Explained

Under Sec. 1305(a)(1) it says that a court shall declare bail or the money or property posted as bail forfeited if the criminal defendant fails to appear at any of the following: 1) an arraignment, 2) trial, or 3) judgement. In other words, if you fail to appear in court as required, your bail can be revoked and forfeited.

When bail is forfeited, it means that any money or property that was put up to secure the defendant’s release becomes property of the court. For example, if you put up your house as collateral, it can be sold and the proceeds used to pay the full bail amount.

Related: Bail Schedule in Orange County, California

If you used a bail bondsmen, they will be given a certain period of time to locate you and bring you to court. If they can’t locate you, they will have to pay the required bail to the court. You may be familiar with the show, Dog the Bounty Hunter on A& E,which demonstrates the great lengths bail bondsmen will go to catch people who jump bail.

Need an Orange County criminal defense attorney? Contact our firm for a free case evaluation.