What happens if someone jumps bail and you’re the cosigner?

Curious to know what happens if someone jumps bail and you’re the cosigner? Well, for starters, we hope this doesn’t happen to you. It’s a stressful and serious situation that can have lasting, negative impacts on both you and the defendant. 

Let’s take a quick look at what happens if a defendant jumps bail.

What happens with a failure to appear in court?

If a defendant jumps bail, they also forfeit their bail. If you’re the cosigner, this means you also forfeit any bail money you may have paid. This is technically known as a failure to appear in court, and it is a crime. The court will issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest, and any fees or fines racked up during this period may become your responsibility.  

This being said, even though you’re financially responsible for bail, you will not be criminally charged with anything. So don’t worry — you’re not going to jail. 

What happens if you worked with a bail bond agent?

If you worked with a bail bond agent instead of posting bail directly to the court, you will still be held financially responsible for a failure to appear in court. 

On top of the additional fees and fines associated with finding the defendant, you may also end up losing valuable, personal property. When you sign for a bail bond, you may also use collateral as a way to secure the bond. This could be a vehicle, jewelry, or even a home. When a defendant jumps bail, this property could end up as the property of the bail bond company.

To make matters a little more stressful, you’ll also be responsible for helping the bail bond track down the defendant. In some cases, this could prove to be near impossible. 

Are you worried about a failure to appear in court?

A failure to appear in court is never a fun situation to deal with. This being said, it’s important to do everything you can to avoid it at all costs. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Never cosign for someone you don’t fully trust
  • Never offer up collateral that is vital to your day-to-day life (ex. your house or primary vehicle)
  • Always remain in close contact with the defendant
  • Always travel with the defendant to court
  • Work with a lawyer to excuse any unexpected absences 

Need help posting bail? We can help.

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience helping people in Bakersfield and throughout Kern County post bail. If you have more questions about this process, give us a call or send us a message online.

Interested in learning more about bail bonds? Check out our resources below!