(By Delegate Beane)
[Introduced February 9, 2005 ; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §51-11-1, relating to
a bail bond forfeiture code, generally; issuing an arrest
warrant for nonappearing defendant; time period allowed surety
to produce the defendant; additional period for cause; when
bail bond exonerated; penalties to fleeing defendant; and
refunds following forfeiture.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §51-11-1, to read as
ARTICLE 11. BAIL BOND FORFEITURE CODE.
§51-11-1. Required actions of the court upon nonappearance.
In addition to the provisions of article one-c, Chapter
six-two of this code.
(a) If a defendant admitted to bail knowingly and
intentionally fails to appear as ordered, the court shall:
(1) Issue an arrest warrant;
(2) Allow one hundred eighty days following breach of the bond
to allow the surety to produce the defendant, and upon a showing to
the court that the surety is making a diligent and thorough search
for the defendant and that additional time granted is likely to
result in the apprehension of the defendant, the court may allow
surety an additional like period;
(3) Exonerate the bail bond if the defendant is found to be
incarcerated in any local, state or federal correctional
(4) Order a forfeiture of the bail bond if the defendant is
not produced within the time allowed; and
(5) Refund to the surety the money paid to the court on
forfeiture if the surety locates and returns the defendant to the
original jurisdiction within a period of five years following the
date of the defendant's failure to appear.
(b) If a defendant is found to have, in any court of record,
knowingly and intentionally breached a bail bond the court shall
(1) Release the defendant on his or her personal recognizance;
(2) Set bail for the defendant in an amount less than twice
the amount of the bond previously breached.
(c) A surety bail bond agent who has been licensed and
appointed by the insurance commissioner shall not be required to
pay any additional bond related fees imposed by a local, county or other state political subdivision, nor shall that agent be required
to obtain any additional licensure or approval, including a court
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a uniform system
of bail bond forfeiture procedures required for all courts of
record in the state.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.