Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
7/23/2017

Article 2. Recognizances.

§ 19.2-135. Commitment for trial; recognizance; notice to attorney for Commonwealth; remand on violation of condition.

When a judicial officer considers that there is sufficient cause for charging the accused or juvenile taken into custody pursuant to § 16.1-246 with a felony, unless it be a case wherein it is otherwise specially provided, the commitment shall be for trial or hearing. Any recognizance taken of the accused or juvenile shall be upon the following conditions: (1) that he appear to answer for the offense with which he is charged before the court or judge before whom the case will be tried at such time as may be stated in the recognizance and at any time or times to which the proceedings may be continued and before any court or judge thereafter in which proceedings on the charge are held; (2) that he shall not depart from the Commonwealth unless the judicial officer taking recognizance or a court in a subsequent proceeding specifically waives such requirement; and (3) that he shall keep the peace and be of good behavior until the case is finally disposed of. Every such recognizance shall also include a waiver such as is required by § 49-12 in relation to the bonds therein mentioned and though such waiver be not expressed in the recognizance it shall be deemed to be included therein in like manner and with the same effect as if it was so expressed. The judge shall return to the clerk of the court wherein the accused or juvenile is to be tried, or the case be heard as soon as may be, a certificate of the nature of the offense, showing whether the accused or juvenile was committed to jail or recognized for his appearance; and the clerk, as soon as may be, shall inform the attorney for the Commonwealth of such certificate.

The court may, in its discretion, in the event of a violation of any condition of a recognizance taken pursuant to this section, remand the principal to jail until the case is finally disposed of, and if the principal is remanded to jail, the surety is discharged from liability.

When a recognizance is taken of a witness in a case against an accused or juvenile, the condition thereof shall be that he appear to give evidence in such case and that he shall not depart from the Commonwealth without the leave of such court or judge.

Code 1950, §§ 19.1-125, 19.1-128, 19.1-133; 1960, c. 366; 1968, c. 639; 1975, c. 495; 1977, c. 287; 1978, c. 755; 1979, c. 735; 1988, c. 688; 1992, c. 576.

§ 19.2-136. How bonds in recognizances payable; penalty.

Bonds in recognizances in criminal or juvenile cases shall be payable to the county or city in which the case is prosecuted. The treasurer or director of finance of such locality may engage in collection activity regarding the judgment of default rendered pursuant to § 19.2-143. Any responses to the judgment of default rendered pursuant to § 19.2-143 shall be filed with the court, with notice given to such locality. Every bond under this title shall be in such sum as the court or officer requiring it may direct.

Code 1950, § 19.1-127; 1960, c. 366; 1973, c. 485; 1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1991, c. 581; 2011, c. 802; 2012, c. 408.

§ 19.2-137. Order of court on recognizance.

When such recognizance is taken by a court of a person to answer a charge or of a witness to give evidence it shall be sufficient for the order of the court taking the recognizance to state that the party or parties recognized were duly recognized upon a bond in such sum as the court may have directed with such surety as the court may have accepted for his or their appearance before such court at such time as may have been prescribed by the court to answer for the offense with which such person is charged or to give evidence, as the case may be.

Code 1950, § 19.1-129; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1991, c. 581.

§ 19.2-138. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1987, c. 670.

§ 19.2-141. How recognizance taken for incapacitated or insane person or one under disability.

A recognizance which would be taken of a person but for his being a minor, insane or otherwise mentally incapacitated, may be taken of another person and without further surety, if such other person is deemed sufficient, for the performance by such minor, insane or otherwise incapacitated person, of the conditions of the recognizance.

Code 1950, § 19.1-134; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1997, c. 801.

§ 19.2-142. Where recognizance taken out of court to be sent.

A person taking a recognizance out of court shall forthwith transmit it to the clerk of the court for appearance before which it is taken; or, if it be not for appearance before a court, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which it is taken; and it shall remain filed in the clerk's office.

Code 1950, § 19.1-136; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-143. Where default recorded; process on recognizance; forfeiture on recognizance; when copy may be used; cash bond.

When a person, under recognizance in a case, either as party or witness, fails to perform the condition of appearance thereof, if it is to appear before a court of record, or a district court, a hearing shall be held upon reasonable notice to all parties affording them opportunity to show cause why the recognizance or any part thereof should not be forfeited. The show cause notice shall be issued within 45 days of the breach of the condition of appearance.

If the court finds the recognizance or any part thereof should be forfeited, the default shall be recorded therein, unless the defendant or juvenile is brought before the court within 150 days of the findings of default. After 150 days of the finding of default, his default shall be recorded therein, and if it is to appear before a district court, his default shall be entered by the judge of such court, on the case papers unless the defendant or juvenile has been delivered or appeared before the court. The process on any such forfeited recognizance shall be issued from the court before which the appearance was to be, and wherein such forfeiture was recorded or entered. Any such process issued by a judge shall be made returnable before, and tried by, such judge, who shall promptly transmit to the clerk of the circuit court of his county or city wherein deeds are recorded an abstract of such judgment as he may render thereon, which shall be forthwith docketed by the clerk of such court.

If the defendant or juvenile appears before or is delivered to the court within 24 months of the findings of default, the court shall remit any bond previously ordered forfeited by the courts, less such costs as the court may direct.

If it is brought to the attention of the court that the defendant or juvenile is incarcerated in another state or country within 48 months of the finding of default, thereby preventing his delivery or appearance within that period, the court shall remit any bond previously ordered forfeited. If the defendant or juvenile left the Commonwealth with the permission of the court, the bond shall be remitted without deduction of costs; otherwise, the cost of returning him to the Commonwealth shall be deducted from the bond.

Evidence that the defendant or juvenile is incarcerated or subject to court process in another jurisdiction on the day his appearance is required or a medical certificate from a duly licensed physician that the defendant was physically unable to so appear shall be considered evidence of good cause why the recognizance should not be forfeited.

If such recognizance so forfeited is not for such appearance, process thereon shall be issued from the court in which it was taken, or the court to which it was made returnable, and in a proceeding in one court on a recognizance entered in another a copy thereof shall be evidence in like manner as the original would be if it had been entered in the court wherein the proceeding is being had thereon.

However, when any defendant or juvenile who posted a cash bond and failed to appear is tried in his absence and is convicted, the court or judge trying the case shall first apply the cash bond, or so much thereof as may be necessary, to the payment of any fines or costs, or both, adjudged against the defendant or juvenile or imposed by law. Any remaining funds shall be forfeited without further notice. However, if a rehearing is granted, the court may remit part or all of such cash bond not applied ultimately to fines or costs, and order a refund of the same by the State Treasurer, or by the treasurer or director of finance of the locality, if the bond was collected by a locality pursuant to § 19.2-136, but only if good cause is shown.

If the defendant or juvenile posted a cash bond and failed to appear, but is not tried in his absence, the bond shall be forfeited promptly without further notice. However, if the defendant or juvenile appears in court within 60 days after the bond is forfeited, the judge may remit part or all of any bond previously forfeited and order a refund of the same by the State Treasurer, or by the treasurer or director of finance of the locality, if the bond was collected by a locality pursuant to § 19.2-136.

Code 1950, § 19.1-137; 1960, c. 366; 1962, c. 499; 1970, c. 371; 1973, c. 409; 1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1979, c. 735; 1987, c. 670; 1988, c. 443; 1990, c. 624; 2000, c. 885; 2003, c. 840; 2005, c. 585; 2006, cc. 296, 316; 2011, c. 802; 2012, c. 408.

§ 19.2-144. Forfeiture of recognizance while in military or naval service.

If in any motion, action, suit or other proceeding made or taken in any court of this Commonwealth on a forfeited bail bond or forfeited recognizance, or to enforce the payment of the bond in any manner or any judgment thereon, or to forfeit any bail bond or recognizance, it appears that the person for whose alleged default such bail bond or recognizance was forfeited or judgment rendered, or such motion is made or proceeding taken, was prevented from complying with the condition of such bail bond or recognizance by reason of his having enlisted or been drafted in the army or navy of the United States, then judgment or decree on such motion, action, suit or other proceeding shall be given for the defendant.

Code 1950, § 19.1-139; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1991, c. 581.

§ 19.2-145. How penalty remitted.

When in an action or on a motion to extend the period for enforcement of a judgment on a recognizance the penalty is adjudged to be forfeited the court may on an application of a defendant or juvenile remit the penalty or any part of it and render judgment on such terms and conditions as it deems reasonable.

Code 1950, § 19.1-140; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1982, c. 153.

§ 19.2-146. Defects in form of recognizance not to defeat action or judgment.

No action or judgment on a recognizance shall be defeated or arrested by reason of any defect in the form of the recognizance, if it appear to have been taken by a court or officer authorized to take it and be substantially sufficient.

Code 1950, § 19.1-141; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-147. Docketing judgment on forfeited recognizance or bond.

Whenever a judgment is entered in any court of record in favor of the Commonwealth of Virginia upon a forfeited recognizance or bond, the clerk of the court in which the judgment is rendered shall certify an abstract of the same to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city wherein the judgment debtor resides or of any city or county in which he may own real property, who shall thereupon enter the abstract of judgment upon his judgment docket.

Code 1950, § 19.1-142; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1994, c. 432.

§ 19.2-148. Surety discharged on payment of amount, etc., into court.

A surety on a bond in a recognizance may, after default, pay into the court from which the process has issued, or may issue thereon, the amount for which he is bound, with such costs as the court may direct, and be thereupon discharged.

Code 1950, § 19.1-143; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1991, c. 581.

§ 19.2-149. How surety on a bond in recognizance may surrender principal and be discharged from liability.

A bail bondsman or his licensed bail enforcement agent on a bond in a recognizance may at any time arrest his principal and surrender him to the court before which the recognizance was taken or before which such principal's appearance is required, or to the sheriff, sergeant or jailer of the county or city wherein the court before which such principal's appearance is required is located; in addition to the above authority, upon the application of the surety, the court, or the clerk thereof, before which the recognizance was taken, or before which such principal's appearance is required, or any magistrate shall issue a capias for the arrest of such principal, and such capias may be executed by such bail bondsman or his licensed bail enforcement agent, or by any sheriff, sergeant or police officer, and the person executing such capias shall deliver such principal and such capias to the sheriff or jailer of the county or the sheriff, sergeant or jailer of the city in which the appearance of such principal is required, and thereupon the surety or the property bail bondsman shall be discharged from liability for any act of the principal subsequent thereto. Such sheriff, sergeant or jailer shall thereafter deliver such capias to the clerk of such court, with his endorsement thereon acknowledging delivery of such principal to his custody. If a magistrate issues a capias pursuant to this section, the magistrate shall transmit a copy of the capias to the court before which such principal's appearance is required by the close of business on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day on which the court is lawfully closed.

Code 1950, § 19.1-144; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1991, c. 581; 2004, c. 460; 2015, c. 622.

§ 19.2-150. Proceeding when surety surrenders principal.

If the surrender is to the court, the court shall make such order as it deems proper; if the surrender is to a sheriff or jailer, the officer to whom the accused has been surrendered shall give the surety a certificate of the fact. After such surrender the person shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of Article 1 (§ 19.2-119 et seq.) of Chapter 9 of this title unless the court or judge thereof has reason to believe that no one or more conditions of release will reasonably assure that the person will not flee or pose a danger to any other person or to the community.

Code 1950, § 19.1-145; 1960, c. 366; 1973, c. 485; 1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1999, cc. 829, 846.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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