FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond or surety bond is simply a monetary guarantee that a person who has been charged with a crime will appear before the court when they are ordered. Once a bond has been posted, the accused is released from custody until his court hearing.
How is the Amount of Bail Decided?
After being booked into the county jail, the defendant will see a judge who will set terms of bond and the bond amount.
How is Bail Posted?
You can post cash or real property for the full amount of the bond directly with the court, but this may tie up much-needed funds and savings. Some jurisdictions may deduct court fees from your cash bond.
You will also lose the benefit of confidentiality, since most courts follow stringent guidelines to show posted funds are not a product of criminal activity. In most cases, bail is posted through a bail bondsman. The bail agent collects a fee (or premium) and secures some form of collateral for the full amount of the bail. Fees vary by state, but are usually 10% of the bail amount, except for federal and immigration cases, which may be as high as 15 to 20 %.
What is Collateral?
Collateral is something of value that is held by the bail agent to ensure the defendant is present for all court proceedings. A piece of real estate, a car, or a bank account all can be considered collateral. Sometimes the signature of a qualifying co-signor will be accepted.
Will the Collateral be Returned?
A bail bond agent has a legal responsibility to safeguard all collateral. As long as the defendant has not failed to appear before the court, collateral is returned once a case is completed whether the defendant is found innocent or guilty. A bail agents fee however is not returned; this is payment for services rendered regardless of the outcome of the case.
What Information Do I Need to Provide the Bail Bond Agent?
The full name of the defendant and where helps in custody you will need the city, state and name of the jail. If you can provide the booking number, this will save valuable time.
How much is the bail?
If you do not have it, don’t worry, the bail agent can get it when they contact the jail. Once you know the bail amount, our agent will advise what it will cost to post bond and anything else required to expedite the defendant’s release.
How long does it take to get released from jail on bond?
That usually depends on where the defendant is being held. Usually it’s within 45 Min to an Hour and a half after they see the judge.
What happens if the defendant fails to appear?
If you think the defendant is going to flee, contact your bondsman as soon as possible to review what options are available to you. If a defendant fails to appear before the court, he is considered a fugitive and a bench warrant is issued for their arrest. The bail bond agent makes every effort to locate the fugitive and return them to custody. However, if the bail bond agent is unable to locate the fugitive the bail agent must pay the entire bond amount to the court. The bail bond agent can recover the cost by turning to the collateral to reimburse the loss.
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