What Happens If Bail Gets Revoked?

What Happens If Bail Gets Revoked?

When bail is revoked, the defendant in a criminal case is no longer privileged to remain free while awaiting their trial. Bail revocation can occur when the defendant fails to comply with the conditions of their release or does not appear in court for their scheduled hearings.

In some situations, bail may not be revoked entirely; other options may be available. This blog will explore the circumstances that can lead to bail revocation and what sanctions may be imposed.

The Purpose of Pretrial Release

When a defendant is released on bail, that means they do not have to wait behind bars while their case is pending. They secure their release by paying the court an amount of money set by the judge, which serves as a surety that the defendant will return for their criminal case proceedings.

Multiple purposes for pretrial release exist, which all fall under the concept of maintaining the justice system's integrity and process. Primarily, it protects the defendant's due process rights. When someone is held in jail, they are deprived of their liberties. This can be seen as unjust because legally they are presumed innocent – the State has not proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, pretrial release allows them to remain free – with certain limitations.

Pretrial release also serves to protect victims and witnesses involved in the criminal case. The defendant, after being released on bail, must adhere to various conditions. These terms are imposed to prevent the defendant from engaging in any behavior that could put the safety of others at risk. They also ensure that the defendant returns to court to answer for the alleged offense and hear the evidence against them, which is their constitutional right.

The Conditions of Bail

We have mentioned a couple of times already that a defendant on pretrial release must comply with various conditions of bail. But what are these terms exactly? That depends on the situation.

Examples of conditions of bail include:

  • No contact with the victim or witness
  • Appear at all court hearings
  • Do not commit any other offenses
  • Remain under the custody or supervision of an authorized organization
  • Refrain from traveling
  • Remain under house arrest or electronic monitoring
  • Complete a drug or alcohol assessment and comply with treatment recommendations

When determining conditions of bail, the judge must impose the least restrictive measures to ensure that the defendant shows up to court and protect the community's safety.

Their decision is based on a range of factors including, but not limited to:

  • The risk of the defendant not appearing in court
  • The seriousness of the offense
  • The defendant's criminal history

Violating any of the conditions can lead to bail revocation or other sanctions.

How Bail Can Get Revoked

Because conditions of pretrial release are court-ordered, failing to comply is serious.

Several things can happen when a defendant does not adhere to their bail terms:

  • Warrant for arrest: When the court learns that a defendant has either violated bail conditions or failed to appear in court, it will issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest. The warrant is effective until the defendant is taken back to court.
  • Arrest: If a person has an arrest warrant issued in their name, law enforcement officials can arrest them at any time. For instance, if the individual gets pulled over for a traffic violation and the officer sees the warrant, they can make an arrest, even if the violation was only a ticket-able offense.
  • Taken back to custody: The defendant will then be returned to jail while they await a bail revocation hearing.
  • Hearing: Before bail is revoked, the defendant will be scheduled for a hearing in which they can tell their side. A judge will hear the defendant's testimony and decide whether to revoke bail. In some cases, they might decide not to revoke bail but impose new or additional conditions of release upon the defendant.
  • Bail revocation: The judge, however, may decide to revoke bail. In this situation, the defendant will be held in jail until the criminal case for their underlying offense concludes. In other words, they are no longer allowed to remain free while they await trial; they must stay behind bars for the duration of their case.
  • Forfeiture of bail: If bail is revoked, the defendant may suffer a major financial loss. If they paid the bail amount from their own pocket, that money would not be returned. If a bail bonds company posted bail on their behalf, they would owe the agency the balance of their bail. For instance, if the defendant paid $2,000 for a $20,000 bail bond, they must hand over the remaining $18,000 if their bail is forfeit.

Understand the Conditions of Bail

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime, it is important that you understand the conditions of bail. As noted in this blog, failing to adhere to these terms can have dire consequences, including revocation of bail.

At Andy Callif Bail Bonds, our Columbus bail bonds agents are happy to explain your bail conditions and help you understand your obligations during pretrial release. We can guide you through the entire bail bonds process.

Contact us online or by phone at (614) 945-4334 today!

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