An Orange County judge may allow you to post bail so you can be released from jail while your case is being tried. This, however, will all depend on your criminal history, risk flight, and other facts of the charges filed against you. You can either pay the bail with cash or let the court place a lien on your property. However, if for any reason neither of the two is available to you, another option would be to work with a bail agent or bondsman who, for a fee, will pay the court a certain percentage of the total bail (bail bond) on your behalf to help you secure freedom while still awaiting judgment.
It’s easy to find a bail bonds agency in Orange County, with some, such as JRS Bail Bond, even operating 24/7. Typically, those arrested can be released from custody within the same day a bond is secured. Now assuming you have found a bondsman willing to trust you, it is extremely important to honor your commitment to return in court; otherwise, you’ll be putting both yourself and your bondsman in hot water.
Also called “skipping bail”, not showing up in court on scheduled dates has serious consequences. First, it is considered a criminal offense. You will face another misdemeanor charge or, worse, felony if you are found to have absented deliberately. Upon failing to appear, you are technically a fugitive from the law and if you aren’t found and surrendered to court within a time allowance set, a bench warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest.
Moreover, your bondsman gets to collect any collateral you may have pledged for the deal. So, if a family or a friend co-signed for you, they may lose their property because of your actions. Since the bonds agency will be bound to pay the 100% of your bail, it’s in its best interest to hire bounty hunters to get you back to court. Nonetheless, if you have missed court by mistake or due to circumstances beyond your control, contact your bondsman right away so they can inform the court for bond reinstatement and rescheduling.
Skipping bail will simply make matters worse, so don’t. Your bail rights could be revoked and even if you’re given another chance, the next bail amount will certainly be greater. Moreover, the offense will reflect permanently on your record, which will make it more difficult for you to find another bail bondsman willing to trust you. Think of posting a bail bond as a privilege that lets you return home to your family and friends, go on working and have time to adequately prepare for your defense instead of spending time in jail.
What Can Happen If You Skip Your Criminal Court Hearing? FindLaw.com
Bail Jumping—or Failing to Appear After Bailing Out, Nolo.com