How to Deal with Virginia Bail Bonds

by : Jay Moncliff

Virginia bail bonds and the Virginia bail bond industry as a whole are under seven applicable statutes which include the Code of Virginia Title on Commonwealth Public Safety; Article 11 on Bail Bondsmen; Article 12 on Bail Enforcement Agents with corresponding codes covering Bail Bondsmen, Licensing and Surety.

If you are planning a career in dealing with Virginia bail bonds as a bondsman, the licensing requirements is among the simplest of all state requirements with just three items. The exclusions however are extensive the most notable exclusions being the barring of employees of local and regional jails, sheriff's offices and local and state departments from applying as bondsmen. Agents dealing with Virginia bail bonds are allowed under Virginia law to deal with only two types of bonds; surety bail bonds and property bail bonds. In getting a license to be a property bondsman, applicants must able to provide proof of collateral in the amount of $200,000 both on his bonds as well that of each of his agents. These collaterals must be in the form of property or real estate, cash and FDIC insured certificates of deposit. If not, the applicant should have his collateral approved by the Department. In addition, the real estate property that would be used as collateral must be located within the state of Virginia with accompanying updated tax assessment.

If a particular Virginia bail bonds are forfeited for non appearance, the court will inform the parties of a hearing to explain just cause. If the defendants or the sureties still fail to appear, the court will simply record the default and the defendant is again give 60 days to appear for a final time. Forfeiture defenses for Virginia bail bonds include: 1) evidence that the defendant had been incarcerated or involved in a legal proceeding in another jurisdiction; 2) presentation of credible medical evidence that he was physically unable to attend the set court date; 3) that he was enlisted or drafted into either the Unites States Army or Navy.

Remissions for Virginia bail bonds vary accordingly depending on the nature of the circumstances. The court will remit previously forfeited Virginia bail bonds minus incurred court costs of course if the defendant is able to appear (on his own volition or through a third-party intervention) within 12 months of the findings of default. If the circumstance was due to incarceration within 48 months of the findings of default, the bond would be remitted as well. In some case for certain reasons where the reason for the non appearance was because the defendant had left the state with the court's permission, the full amount of the Virginia bail bonds would be remitted without court deductions.

For Virginia bail bonds paid for in cash, forfeiture is final when the defendant is tried and found guilty in absentia. But if the defendant can show just and good cause in a requested hearing, it is possible to remit part of the entire cash bond. In the case of defendants who miss their court dates but are not tried, the forfeiture is also automatic. But defendants who appear within 60 days after forfeiture may still recover part or the entire amount depending on the judge's discretion.