If you are looking to get out of jail as quickly as you can, a bail bond may be your best option. It is a relatively simple idea, to be honest. When someone is arrested, another individual can pay some money and get that person released, pending his or her trial.
While it does appear to be simple on the surface, there is actually a bit more to it than that. What do you do, for example, if you are asked to pay a $150,000 bail and you have no way of coming up with that amount of cash? Are you familiar with the services that a bail bondsman provides? Continue reading to learn more about this important topic.
Arrests, Jail, Bail, and the Bail Bond System
Bail refers to the process by which a person charged with a crime is released after they have been arrested, but before the case has actually been resolved. It typically involves the individual paying a type of bail bond. This is real cash that is meant to ensure the person who is released will actually show back up at court at a designated time for more hearings and a possible trial.
Bail Bond: Arrest
Individuals who are arrested are typically taken to jail. This necessitates the possibility of a bail bondsman. Once at the jail, the individual is processed. This is usually referred to as being “booked”. Arrested individuals may also be released with charges being filed. Failing that, it is necessary to wait until the option of a bail bond is presented to you.
Bail Bond: Booking
Being booked follows an arrest. It is at the time that the person will have his or her photo taken, and all identifying information is recorded. Before a bail bondsman can be contacted, a health evaluation will likely be performed and a search for outstanding warrants conducted. After this, the person will be taken to a holding cell pending a possible bail bond hearing.
Bail Bond: Pretrial Release
It is important to remember that being arrested does not make a person guilty. There needs to be a trial, if the court deems the charges to be valid. A bail bondsman may be able to secure you a pretrial release. There are several ways to secure pretrial release, but one may be to post a bail bond so that you can remain at home until the date of the trial.
Bail Bond: Bail Schedules
A bail bondsman can tell you more, but there are typical schedules that apply to the granting of bail in any given case. Each jurisdiction is different, but the amount of the bail bond will be equal to the severity of the crime. Some crimes will still require a bail hearing.
Bail Bond: Bail Hearings
Not all bail amounts are set by a schedule. Certain criminal charges will necessitate a bail hearing before a bail bond can be posted. A bail bondsman should be contacted so that you are ready to proceed once the amount has been set.
Bail Bond: Conditions of Bail
In addition to having a bail bondsman post a bail bond, the court will impose additional conditions on the release from jail as well. Some examples include staying within a certain community, avoiding contact with various individuals, and more. Violating any of those conditions can result in bail being revoked.
Bail Bond: Post Conviction or Sentence Bail
If you have already been convicted of a crime, you will still want to talk to a bail bondsman. There are cases where bail can still be granted on the grounds of an appeal that has been filed. A bail bond may be necessary in such a case to guarantee you will appear to serve out your sentence if the appeal is denied.
Bail Bond: Bail Payments
Every locality and jurisdiction will have its own specific rules about how bail is to be paid. A bail bondsman is often your best source of information for this. When you post a bail bond, there will be some information that you will need to provide to the court prior to your release being secured.
Types of Bail
A bail bondsman will be able to help you understand the various types of bail that you can post. A bail bond is just one of many options. Keep in mind that some types of bail are not available in all situations, and not all jurisdictions will accept them either.
If you have been arrested for a relatively minor crime or citation, you may be allowed to post a cash bond. This may or may not require a bail bondsman. Regardless, the bail bond will be posted as cash. Once you have done that, you may be released from the custody of the police.
Own Recognizances/Personal Recognizance Bond
If you have ever said your word is your bond, then this is the type of bail bond you will be hoping for. A bail bondsman would not be needed in this case. This is typically for individuals who have been arrested and the court deems them to be no flight risk at all. You will be released and ask to return for your next court appearance.
This is similar to a personal recognizance bond in that the court sets an amount for bail, but it does not need to be paid. The individual will be released, but he or she will need to pay the bail later if any conditions are violated. Again, a bail bondsman will not be needed as there is no bail bond involved initially.
Secured Property Bond
This is where you might need the assistance of a bail bondsman. You will use some type of personal asset as collateral against the amount of bail that has been requested. A bail bond is going to help you get out of jail and back home.
Bail Bond/Surety Bond
Here is where a bail bondsman really comes in handy. This is an entity that will pay the bail on your behalf. They enter into an agreement with the court where they pay a fraction of the bail amount on the condition that they will be on the hook for the entire amount if you fail to show up at your court appearance.
Getting Bail Money Back
A Bail bondsman gets their money back when you show up for your court hearings. There are several different ways that a bail bond gets fulfilled.
Bail Release or Refund
When your case is resolved, often through the charges being dropped or you being found innocent, bail will be returned to you.
You will forfeit the amount paid for your bail if you fail to show up at your court appearance. You can also lose your bail bond if you do not abide by the conditions imposed by the court to secure your release. You will need to deal with your bail bondsman at this point as well.
If you have violated bail, that is still the possibility that bail can be reinstated and a bail bondsman may need to be consulted. To do this, you will need to issue a statement relating the facts behind your violation and why it happened.
Getting Bail Money Back: Bond Agent
If you use a bail bondsman, you would eventually like to get your money back from them. There are many different ways to do that. Keep in mind that you will typically need to pay an agreed upon fee to them before everything is resolved and the bail bondsman is satisfied.
Bond Forfeiture and Bounty Hunters
If you violate the terms of your bail, a bail bondsman can use many different legal avenues at their disposal to find you and get the money due them. This can involve the use of bounty hunters in some jurisdictions. Your best course of action is to fulfill the terms of your bail bond agreement.