Forfeit bond meaning and examples

Wondering what it means to forfeit bond? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

If not taken seriously, a bond forfeiture can be a pretty big deal for a variety of reasons — including massive debt and even prison time. 

Let’s break down why bond forfeited matters and discuss a few common examples of bond forfeiture.

Forfeit bond meaning

When bond forfeited, this typically means that a defendant has missed or skipped their court date. This means that the bail bond company will be on the hook for the full bail amount — that is, unless they can deliver the defendant back to court. This is where a bounty hunter might come into play.

When bond is forfeited, it is considered a failure to appear in court. At this point, a warrant will be issued for the arrest of the defendant. It is considered a contempt of court. 

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Forfeit bond examples

To forfeit bond, the defendant must knowingly or intentionally skip court. For example, if a defendant is worried they might be found guilty and leave town (rather than attending their hearing), this will be considered a bond forfeiture. 

However, if there is a serious accident that prevents the defendant from attending court, then this will not be considered a bond forfeiture. For example, if the defendant is in a car accident and is hospitalized as a result, then they will not be held in contempt of court. Other examples may include a sick child or the death of a family member.

This being said, even though these instances are considered acceptable absences, they must still be documented and communicated to the judge. If possible, your lawyer or a friend or family member should appear in court on your behalf to explain the absence.

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Get more insights on bail bonds

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience helping residents all across Kern County post bail fast, and we’ve developed resources to help our community understand bail bonds better.

Take a look at our additional bail bond resources and reach out to us with any questions: