If celebrity couple Randy and Evi Quaid are spotted, they could have a lot more to worry about than camera flashes.
They could be arrested on a Santa Barbara County warrant.
When the Quaids did not show up for a mandatory court appearance Tuesday in Superior Court in Santa Barbara to be formally charged with second-degree burglary and related charges, warrants were issued for their arrest.
The actor and his wife, who are suspected of bilking a Montecito hotel out of a $10,000 bill, previously failed to show up for three voluntary arraignment hearings, and an earlier warrant was issued.
However, the couple posted bond last month with Santa Barbara Bail Bonds, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter. As a result, that warrant was recalled, and Tuesday’s arraignment before Judge Clifford Anderson was scheduled.
With the Quaid’s latest failure to appear in court, the bonds that had been posted for $20,000 each were forfeited, and Anderson doubled the new warrants — setting them at $40,000 each.
If the bail bond company can’t get the Quaids to court, the business is financially responsible for the forfeited bonds, Carter said.
“Basically, the money goes to the court,” he added.
The Quaids have several options, Carter said.
They can post the new bonds, they can surrender on the warrants or they can get arrested and extradited to Santa Barbara, he said.
Carter said it is conceivable that a deal could be worked out that would involve the couple facing a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony, meaning their presence would not be required in court.
“As it stands right there, it’s a felony,” Carter added.
He said he doesn’t know where the Quaids are.
Robert Sanger, a Santa Barbara County-based attorney representing the Quaids, said he appeared in court Tuesday for them, but offered little else concerning the case.
“I’m not going to comment on a pending case,” Sanger said.
The Quaids were arrested on Sept. 24 in Texas, where they reportedly remained after they posted bail for the first time.
Santa Barbara County prosecutors have filed changes against the Quaids of second-degree commercial burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and defrauding an innkeeper, because of their alleged failure to pay a $10,000 bill to the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito.
Carter said that as long as the Quaids are felony fugitives, no court date will be set.