Do Bail Bonds Expire? What You Need To Know

If you have never gotten a bail bond before and you are planning to get one for yourself or a loved one, you may have a lot of questions. In particular, you may be wondering if bail bonds expire. Here's what you need to consider about bail bond expiration dates:

1. Exoneration

A bail bond allows you to leave jail after being arrested so that you can go home and prepare for your trial. If you don't show up for your trial, the bondsmen has the right to come find you and bring you to law enforcement officials. However, if you stand trial and the case is resolved, you no longer need the bail bond. That is true whether you receive an innocent or a guilty verdict.

At that point, the bond doesn't expire but is considered to be exonerated. Your co-signers no longer have any obligation to the bail bond, and you should receive a letter from the bail bond company that the bond has been exonerated. Unfortunately, you cannot use that bail bond again for a future case, and if you need a bail bond in the future, you will need to buy a new one.

2. Expiration Without Indictment

In some cases, bail bonds are issued before the defendant has been indicted. In these cases, the bond may expire after a certain amount of time. If you have been arrested but not formally indicted, check the bond for an expiration date. If the bail bond expires before the courts indict you, a warrant may be automatically issued for your arrest, and unfortunately, you may be considered "at large without a proper bond."

To avoid getting arrested twice, contact the courts if your bond is close to expiring and you have not been indicted yet. In some communities, citizens have been subjected to being arrested twice for the same crime, but luckily, in many cases, the courts are trying to resolve this issue by contacting the accused in a timely fashion and sending a letter notifying them about the date of their new arraignment hearing. Only, then, if the letter is ignored, do the courts issue an "at large" warrant for arrest.

3. Renewal

If you have been formally indicted and you have posted a bail bond so that you don't have to stay in jail for the duration of your trial, you may have to deal with renewing your bail bond. This issue varies from bail bondsman to bail bondsmen, and it's important to talk with your bondsperson about the issue before making the purchase.

In many cases, the bail bond is active and unexpired throughout the duration of your trial, regardless of how long that takes. However, in some cases, you may have to pay a renewal fee. Like the original fee, this fee is typically a percentage of the total bond amount.

For example, imagine the courts set a $100,000 bail. You pay a bondsperson 10 percent in exchange for the bail bond, making your fee $10,000. Then, the bondsperson charges a 5 percent renewal fee every 12 months, meaning you pay an additional $5,000 to keep the bail bond active.

4. Forfeiture

Forfeiture happens if you don't show up for court after a bail bond has been issued in your name. When this happens, the bond is forfeited, and the bondsperson has the right to find you and bring you to the courts. In most cases, there is a grace period between the date of forfeiture, and the date the bondsmen is allowed to find you.

If you have more questions on bail bond expiration dates or other issues, contact a bail bonds expert today or you could check here for more information.