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  #1  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:02 PM
VarlosZ VarlosZ is online now
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Do you forfeit bail if you commit suicide before trial? (Need answer fast.)

Google doesn't seem to know. Assume we're in the United States (though obviously there could be differences from state to state).
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:26 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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When a case is no longer pending bail cannot be forfeited. Charges generally die with a defendant, so the effect is the same as if the charges are dropped.

In Texas, for example:
Quote:
Art. 22.02. [425] [489] [477] MANNER OF TAKING A
FORFEITURE. Bail bonds and personal bonds are forfeited in the
following manner: The name of the defendant shall be called
distinctly at the courthouse door, and if the defendant does not
appear within a reasonable time after such call is made, judgment
shall be entered that the State of Texas recover of the defendant
the amount of money in which he is bound, and of his sureties, if
any, the amount of money in which they are respectively bound, which
judgment shall state that the same will be made final, unless good
cause be shown why the defendant did not appear.
I presume the death of the defendant would be good cause for failure to appear.

I can only find an explicit citation for this under Indian law, though (see p. 235). India has a common law system based on the body of English and Welsh law, although this particular area of law is governed under its Code of Criminal Procedure.

There are any number of cases in the US where somebody faked suicide and subsequently forfeited bail for failure to appear when it was discovered that they were actually alive (such as pyramid schemer and Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu), but none in which the defendant actually offed himself. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure don't cover this specific issue, and neither do Florida's.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 02-03-2010 at 11:29 PM..
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:44 PM
Rico Rico is offline
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<mod>

I've communicated with VarlosZ about the topic and he has said the "Need Answer Fast" part was a joke on his part.

Anyone concerned about this - he seems sincere about it. No worries.

</mod>
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:53 AM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
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I don't know, but props for the best-ever use of the "Need Answer Fast" meme!
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:01 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
I don't know, but props for the best-ever use of the "Need Answer Fast" meme!
And for the quick answers. Don't want to leave him hanging.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:09 PM
horsetech horsetech is offline
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I see what you did there.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:11 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
I don't know, but props for the best-ever use of the "Need Answer Fast" meme!
I properly LOLed and my roomie asked what was so funny. And I couldn't explain.
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:18 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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For the record, I was not fooled.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:14 PM
VarlosZ VarlosZ is online now
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Thanks to RNATB for the cites and the fast response; the info about Indian law is a particularly nice pull.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:22 PM
Pedro Pedro is offline
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I thought not including a disclaimer with the joke was dickish: the message board equivalent of a 911 prank call (and no, I didn't take it seriously either).
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2010, 09:35 PM
VarlosZ VarlosZ is online now
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Sorry, I thought at the time that it would be obvious.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:41 PM
Pedro Pedro is offline
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No apology expected from me but thanks anyway.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:00 PM
Quasimodem Quasimodem is offline
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First reaction: Thanks for the laugh.

Then: If the guy kills himself after someone bonded him out, then it's a damn valid question, since the person posting bond might be liable.

Q
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:21 PM
VarlosZ VarlosZ is online now
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What prompted the question was a rerun of Law & Order the detectives reveal to a suspect that they have him dead to rights for causing the deaths of a half dozen people, including several children, at which point he runs off to the bathroom and jams a pen into his throat. "Not an unreasonable course of action," I thought, except the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Better to get out on bail and then dispose of yourself in a more dignified manner ... unless, of course, you and your family have posted a huge bond that would be forfeit in the event of your suicide.
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  #15  
Old 02-05-2010, 02:12 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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I assume the question is valid and I've worked for a bail bond agency and we've had clients die before their court date. You get the bond released by forwarding a copy of the death certificate to the county clerk or whatever jurisdiction may be required.

It's real easy as long as you have the death certificate, to get your bail back.

The whole point of bond is to assure the person appears in court. If he/she can't appear, you get your money back. Bond is not randsome.

However the bond agency always gets it's percentage regardless of the case, that can vary from 5% to 15%. So in otherwords if bond is $10,000 for example, the bond agency I worked for charge let say 15%. We'd keep $1,500 if regardless. That's the fee for putting up the bond regardless if the guy is innocent, guilty or dead.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:23 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Nitpick: ransom.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:28 AM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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I had a client on bail die once. No problem going to court to get the bail money released. Of course, most bail is posted by a professional bonding company, and they get to keep the fee (usually 10%) regardless. But you can at least get your collateral released.
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