By A Bargain Bail Bonds of Tulsa and Sapulpa - Phone: 918-583-6600
The short answer is yes, a bondsman may under certain circumstances arrest and re-incarcerate or recommit the person that was bonded out of jail. So, under what circumstances is this allowed? The specific legal authority and circumstances for this are listed in title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes section 1327 which states in part as follows:
"A. At any time before there has been a breach of the undertaking in any type of bail provided herein, the surety or bondsman may surrender the defendant, or the defendant may surrender himself or herself, to the official to whose custody the defendant was committed at the time bail was taken, or to the official into whose custody the defendant would have been given had he or she been committed. The defendant may be surrendered without the return of premium for the bond if he or she has been guilty of nonpayment of premium, changes address without notifying his or her bondsman, conceals himself or herself, leaves the jurisdiction of the court without the permission of his or her bondsman, or violates his or her contract with the bondsman in any way that does harm to the bondsman, or the surety, or violates his or her obligation to the court. . .
This statute broadly includes the phrase: "or violates his or her contract with the bondsman in any way that does harm to the bondsman, or the surety, or violates his obligation to the court." So, if a person on bond violates his/her contract with the bondsman in any way that does harm to the bondsman, or the surety, or violates his/her obligation to the court, then the bondsman may recommit the person.
The next question, as a matter of good business practices, should a bondsman routinely re-incarcerate people for minor contract violations which may constitute a technical violation of a contract but which do not affect the likelihood of the person fulfilling their obligations to appear in court. In other words, what is the best business practice in regard to the exercise of discretion.
A good bondsman wants to grow their business and does not want cause unnecessary paper-work and hardship when the same can be avoided with good communication practices or good business practices. A good Tulsa Bail Bondsman should exercise common sense and attempt to communicate with the person on bond about the importance of calling their office at least once per week (1 time per week) and about giving their correct address (note bondsman routinely verify addresses) and about paying the money (a bondsman may re-incarcerate you if you do not pay) and about appearing in court. You absolutely must know your court date. You need to call your bondsman once per week to let them know that you know your court date and that you are going to appear in court. Most bondsman will attempt to verify the address of the person out on bond, so never give a wrong address, and immediately notify the bondsman of a change in your address or telephone number.
Most bondsman do not want to have a bad reputation for revoking your bond and putting you back in jail. However, a person who changes their telephone number and/or address without notifying the bondsman is in breach of the bonding contract and unless they communicate adequately with the bondsman, there is a real danger that the bond could be revoked. A smart person would act proactively by calling the bondsman at least once per week to notify them that they are in communication and know when their next court date is scheduled and that they have not moved, changed employment, or changed their telephone number. Most bonding contracts provide that any major changes in employement, address, phone number, or status or other similiar things, must be immediately reported to the bondsman. Again, even if your bondsman says "its is no longer necessary for you to call me," if any changes occur, you must immediately report those changes to the bondsman.
Lastly, it is terrible that sometimes people are given the wrong court date or mis-understand when their next court date is scheduled. Many many many times it is an honest mistake. However, sometimes this mistake can balloon into a major error in judgment and can result in new charges or a bond forfeiture with the new bond being set in a "no bond" category or with triple the bond. You absolutely should double check and triple check your next court date. Do not take any chances. Call your bondsman and tell him your next court date but ask them to double check the court date for you. Also, you can call the Tulsa County Court House - criminal court clerk at 918-596-5471 to verify your next court date.
Under the statutes, title 59 Oklahoma Statutes section 1335, in Oklahoma, jumping bond is a felony offense which carries penalties of from zero to 2 years in prison and/or from 0 to $5,000.00 dollars. Additionally, most bail bond contract provide that the co-signor can be liable for the costs of locating, transporting, and catching the bond jumper, in addition to the amount of the bond that they co-signed for, guaranteeing the person would appear for court as scheduled. Under the above statute, a person who surrenders within thirty (30) days is not subject to prosecution for bond jumping.
Additionally, under the statutes, title 59 Oklahoma Statutes section 1332, in Oklahoma a Tulsa bail bondsman only has ninety (90) days to find and arrest a bond jumper and then on the ninety-one (91) day the bondsman has to pay the full amount of the bond posted to the court clerk unless the bond jumper has been arrested. Most bondsman do not want to have to pay thousands of dollars for a bond jumper and then be forced to sue the co-signors for the money or place a lien on the home or garnish the wages of the co-signors. A co-signor or anyone who is harboring a "fugitive" which is what a bond jumper would be is also subject to possible prosecution for the felony offense of "harboring a fugitive" which carries penalties of up to ten (10) years in prison and/or up to $10,000 dollars.
In most cases, better communication between the person out on bond, the bondsman, the co-signors, and the court system, may avoid many of the problems associated with missed court dates. Often, a defendant can get their bond re-instated or re-indorsed by hiring an attorney to appear in court with them and the bondsman and requesting a new court date, especially when the missed court date was a simple mistake or mis-understanding and not an intentional act to avoid court.