Bond/Asset Forfeiture


Bail is the security given by a person to assure a defendant’s appearance before the proper court whenever required.  There are five types of bail bonds:  Commercial Surety (Insurance Company), Cash, Property, Personal Surety and Release on Own Recognizance. When a criminal defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court date and the court issues an Attachment for the defendant’s arrest, the Clerk of Court mails a Notice of Attachment to the defendant and surety.  The defendant has 180 days from the date the Clerk mails the Notice of Attachment to either reappear in court or be arrested on that attachment to stop the bond from becoming collectible.  If the defendant is not arrested or does not reappear, the State sets the matter for a Rule to Show Cause and attempts to forfeit the bond.  If a surety wishes to get off a bond, a surety must either surrender the defendant in open court or at the jail.  The defendant is then taken into custody and may be eligible to post a new bond. 


Administration Email: attention Bond/Asset Forfeiture

Washington and St. Tammany Parishes – (985) 809-8390

Bond Forfeiture
Bond Forfeiture FAQs
Asset Forfeiture
Asset Forfeiture FAQs

Bond Forfeiture

The Bond Forfeiture Division forfeits a criminal defendant’s bond based on his/her failure to appear. There are five types of bonds: Commercial (Insurance Company/Bondsman), Cash, Property, Personal Surety and Release on Own Recognizance. When a criminal defendant fails to appear in court for a scheduled court date, the State files a Judgment of Bond Forfeiture, forfeiting the bond posted by the defendant and/or surety. The defendant and the surety will receive certified mail from the Clerk of Court, informing them that the defendant has missed his/her court date and that a judgment of bond forfeiture has been granted. There will also be a letter from the Clerk, explaining that if the defendant  wish to cancel the judgment he/she must contact the District Attorney’s Office and pay a fee. A judgment of bond forfeiture can be cancelled, based on the defendant’s reappearance or incarceration, (within six months as allowed by law). A Judgment of Bond Forfeiture can be cancelled for the cancellation costs if the defendant either reappears in court or is located in jail within 180 days from the date the Clerk mails the notice of judgment. If the defendant is located in a jail of another jurisdiction, the surety/defendant, must provide a Letter of Incarceration within that 180 day period to the Court and/or the District Attorney’s Office. Furthermore, if a defendant is located in another jail, the surety must also pay the costs of extradition to satisfy the judgment of bond forfeiture. If a defendant is rearrested based on his/her failure to appear in the jurisdiction where the bond is posted, and within the one hundred and eighty days from the date the clerk mailed notice, the judgment can be cancelled. This also relieves the surety of all obligations under that bond. However, if the defendant just reappears in court and is allowed to remain on that bond, the surety is still responsible for the defendant on the bond. In the event the surety wants to get off a bond either prior to forfeiture or even after forfeiture, the surety has two options: 1) surrender the defendant in open court or 2) surrender the defendant at the jail (for a fee of $25). When a bond forfeiture judgment becomes collectible, a defendant and surety owe the amount of the judgment plus judicial interest that accrues from the date the judgment is granted. These judgments are recorded in land records. Thus, in the event a defendant or surety is trying to buy, sell, dissolve immovable property (real estate), this judgment will come up against his/her name.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my bond obligation end when the defendant appears at the first court date on the bond?

Can a bond be reforfeited?

To forfeit a bond and issue an attachment does there have to be actual service?

Asset Forfeiture

The Asset Forfeiture Division initiates forfeiture proceedings against any property used in connection with a drug transaction and/or drug offense. These items can include property that is used to facilitate a drug transaction, property furnished in exchange for drugs and/or proceeds from the distribution of drugs. All of these items would be subject to seizure under La R.S. 40:2601 et seq.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my property back?

If I file a claim, do I automatically receive my property?

Is the forfeiture separate from the criminal matter?

What happens if a claim is not filed within 30 days?