At one point or another, we know someone who is arrested or may experience arrest ourselves. It is imperative to educate yourself on what you can do to help your situation. When a loved one is arrested, it is a time sensitive matter. Understanding bails and bonds will ensure you to handle the situation at hand in the proper and most efficient manner.
What is a Bail?
A bail is an agreement between the defendant, meaning you, and the court of authority. You agree to pay a certain amount of money as a guarantee that you will be in court on your given date regarding your case. When you go to court for your case, you will receive your money back. If it is not possible for you to pay your set bail amount, you will remain in jail until your court date.
How Bail is Prepared and Chosen
Your hearing will be arranged after the initial booking of not only yourself, but your belongings and vital information are recorded. At said hearing, your bail amount will be discussed and decided by a judge within 48 hours of your initial arrest. There are many factors associated with how bail is decided. First and foremost, the judge may decide to quash any need for a bail. Another scenario may be that the judge utilize the schedule for bail, for instance, the maximum bail for a felony. External and extenuating circumstances may be taken into account as well such as employment, family and whether or not this was your first offense. The judge has the power to reduce your bail set amount based on these circumstances.
What is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is the concept of paying a small percentage for the final amount of the arrested person’s bail and a bail bondsman will loan the remainder of the funds in order to post bail. This is used as a form of collateral. Collateral can also be in the form of jewelry, the deed to your house or even your automobile. This is used as a security measure in order to ensure repaying the “loan” back to the bail bondsman. You will receive your money from bail back from the court following your court date upon your arrival. If you do not show to your court date, you do not receive any money and/or property back. Bail bonds are a wonderful idea for those arrested that want to remain out of jail until their trial. But be forewarned, there are bounty hunters employed in order to trace your whereabouts and revert you back to custody if you make the decision to not arrive to your court date or escape.
Types of Bail Bonds
There are several types of bail bonds available if you or someone you know is arrested and needs monetary assistance.
Immigration Bond will allow you to be discharged from custody if you are seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
Property Bond is used if you possess a property, such as a car or home, where the bondsman will engage in collateral trade with you instead of a monetary deposit. A lien will be positioned on the property in order to protect the loan. If you do not show to your court date, the bondsman has all rights to sell the property.
Surety Bond is protected by an insurance organization and is the most utilized by bondsmen that want monetary protection for their bond loans.
Release on Own Recognizance occurs when a judge decides to remove any set bail amount. This situation is most common when it is a first offense and/or you are not perceived as someone who will flee.
Cite Out is utilized when a person is apprehended performing an act that is against the law and instead of booking the person into custody, the officer issues a legal citation mandating the person to show at a scheduled court date.
Securing a Bail Bond
Bail bondsman typically require a non-refundable premium fee that ensures they receive most if not all of the loaned money back in return. It is usually between 10 and 20 % of the initial loan. It is imperative to find a bondsman that charges the lowest premium; attorney and court fees as well as application charges are necessary to pay in addition to premium fees and repayment of the bail bond.