Each and every state has its own laws regarding the posting of bail, and Louisiana is no different. Nowhere in the country is bail a constitutional guarantee, but for the most part, the assignation of bail has become commonplace. If you are jailed in Louisiana, there are five things you need to know about posting bail.
There Are Multiple Ways to Bond Out of Jail
There are several different types of bonds, all of which are designed to ensure a defendant will appear for their court date. Different types of bonds include:
- Cash bond
- Commercial surety bond
- Property bond
- Personal surety bond undertaking
Cash bonds are paid by the defendant, without the help of a bail bonds company. The defendant will be responsible for the entire amount of the bail. A cash bond will be returned to the defendant, minus court costs and fees.
Commercial Surety Bond
A commercial surety bond is paid with the help of a bail bonds company. In Louisiana, bail bonds companies are regulated and licensed by the Department of Insurance. Licensed bail bonds companies will enter into a contract with the defendant in which the defendant pays the bail bondsman 12 percent of the total bail. In return, the bail bondsman guarantees the entire cost of the bail to the court. This 12 percent premium is nonrefundable. Bail bonds companies will typically require a co-signor on this contract.
A property bond occurs when a piece of property is used to cover the cost of bail. The piece of property must be in Louisiana to be used in a property bond. The owner of the property will need to present the title to the court. A mortgage will be recorded against the property.
Personal Surety Bond
A personal surety bond undertaking is also known as a PSBU in Louisiana. In the case of a PSBU, a third party will pledge the cost of the bail on behalf of the defendant. A hearing will be held to determine if the third party is financially able to post bail. There is a charge for filing a PBSU. In Caddo Parish, this charge is $200. This charge is common to most of the parishes in Louisiana.
How To Get Bail in Shreveport
Once a defendant is booked into jail, there is a set amount of time before a bail hearing can be set. For most misdemeanor crimes in Louisiana, there is a set bail schedule determining when bail will be set. As soon as bail is set, defendants will be allowed to contact a bail bonds service or post a cash or property bond themselves.
It is possible to be denied bail if the defendant is deemed to be a flight risk, or if a judge believes the defendant will possibly cause extensive harm in the community if released from custody. However, the vast majority of defendants are assigned bail.
How Long Will I Be In Jail?
The amount of time between being booked and having bail set is determined by the crime. For the most part, even for more serious crimes, bail will be set within 72 hours of arrest. However, weekends and holidays do not count towards this time. Any individual arrested for impaired driving in Louisiana is required to remain in jail for at least 8 hours, to ensure they are not still impaired when they are released. Some extremely serious crimes require bail to be set at the time of arraignment, thus lengthening the amount of time a defendant will be in jail.
What Does Bail Cost in Shreveport?
Any cash bail will be returned to the defendant, minus court fees. If the defendant used a bail bonds company, they will only be charged the 12 percent premium, as well as the court fees. The PBSU fee is $200 in most parishes, including Caddo and Orleans parishes.
What Happens if I Miss A Court Appearance?
Any defendant who fails to appear at a scheduled court date will lose the amount of their cash bond, or, if the defendant used a bail bonds company, the defendant and their co-signor will then be responsible for the remainder of the bond. An arrest warrant will also be issued for the crime of failure to appear, and for the original crime.
Contact Hugh Knotts Bail Bondsman in Shreveport, LA
If you or someone you know has been jailed in Louisiana, or if you have questions about bail bonds in the Shreveport area, hire Shreveport, LA Bail Bonds