Legal Guide

What one should know about bail bonds?

BAIL-basic introduction

A fixed amount of money that the defendant in jail pays to the court as an act of insurance between him and the court is termed as bail.

Defendants have the choice of paying their bail in cash. But due to the amount of bail many can't afford it.

The set amount of bail is quite high which makes the defendant financially weak to do so by himself. At that time they need an agent also known as a bail bondsman, his job is to post a bail bond for the defendant. 

Bail Bond

A type of surety bond issued by a surety bond company through a bail agent is called a bail bond. So basically it supports those defendants who can't afford bail. A defendant used the method of the bail bond to pay the jail to get out of jail until their court hearing. The defendant who cannot afford bail has to wait in jail until their court hearing date.

Types of Bail Bond

Following are the types of Bail Bonds:

  • Criminal Bail Bond:  Such a type of bond involves criminal cases. They provide a guarantee to the court that a defendant always appears for his trial whenever has hearings in the court and also guarantees payment for any fines that are given to the defendant.
  • Civil Bail Bond: As the name shows this bond is used in civil cases and they guarantee the court the payment of the debt, including all interest and costs, pressed against the defendant.

Explanation

In many situations, the defendant does have the choice of paying a set amount of bail himself. Not all crimes have to pay a large sum of money for bail, many offenses have little bond amounts.

There is a defendant who can pay the full bail. However, it's also tricky to pay the jail because when someone is taken into custody, their items are taken from them. Not all jail locations accept credit cards. 

Defendants are given the choice of contacting a bail agent. Most of the time, a bail agent might be contracted by friends or relatives of the defendant on their behalf.

When someone decides to hire a bail bondsman, a contract is written by the agent that he will be responsible for the defendant showing up in court and he will have to give the full amount of the bail if the defendant does not show up.

Working of bail bonds

Bail bond agencies are open twenty-four hours a day since arrests can occur at any time of the day. In this modern world, payment and paperwork can be done or finished electronically which can help the procedure. The paperwork is a contract between the person posting bail that he will be responsible for the defendant showing up to all court proceedings. Fees will also be discussed in the paperwork.

Bail hearing

In a bail hearing, the set amount of bail is decided by the court. The details of the case will be examined by the judge. The amount of bail is based on the nature of the crimes.

So, in the first bail hearing, the bail is set, that is usually the first time the suspect appears in front of the court. Judges study the nature of the case and make the decision regarding the nature of the crime one is accused of. Following are the points that a bail judge always keep in mind;

  • He studies the nature and degree of crime whether the crime was drug-related, related to violence, or nonviolent. 
  • He gives the background check on the suspect's character and to see if there is any criminal activity in the past. 
  • He observes whether the defendant poses a danger to society if they are released on bail.

Having a criminal defense attorney can help someone at a bail hearing because both the defense and the prosecutor will have an opportunity to discuss bail with the judge at the bail hearing.

A criminal defense lawyer will have the possibility to discuss bail factors and they even managed to lower the bail at a bail hearing. Sometimes the defendant didn’t need a lawyer or attorney and got released from the court. In this case, he has to sign a written agreement with the court promising that he will abide by restrictions set by the court and that they will appear for their court hearing.

Such a bond is called a recognizance bond, in which no bail fees are involved. If that ever happens it can save thousands of money for the defendant. A criminal defense attorney may try to sort out with the judge and the prosecutor. This sort of bond will not be considered in certain cases, depending on the type of crime, such as violent crimes, felony crimes, and gang-related crimes will not be given recognizance bonds.

Cost of a bail bond?

Bail bond agencies will have a fee for using their services. Fees may vary based on state to state. Some states will have set amount fees that the bail bond agencies must accept. Fees depend on the amount of risk that the bail bond agency takes regarding the arrest situation. Terms and conditions will be given by the bail agent. 

bail bondsmen are not needed to help someone bail out of jail. They risk themselves in the situation to help the defendant.

Bounty hunter

Trained or registered professionals that find and capture the fugitives for the bail bondsmen are known as a bounty hunter.

If a defendant is on the run as soon as he gets himself bailed out of jail, they are taken as a fugitive and an arrest warrant is issued for them. The bail agent has to pay the full amount of the bond to the court in such a case. The issue of how to capture them and bring them to court is resolved by the bounty hunter. The states may or may not have regulations for bounty hunters. A bail hunter not only helps the bail binder but also protects society because the fugitive criminal poses a threat to society. they may harm the public if not captured in time.

Responsibility of Bail Bonds 

A bail amount is set by the court. If the defendant is unable to pay the bail amount, they look forward to getting help from a Bail bondsman.

A defendant has to pay a Bail bondsman 10% of the bail amount to post a Bail Bond,

The rest of the bail amount is secured in the form of collateral by the Bail bondsman. If the defendant does not have much collateral, the Bail Bondsman asked his relatives and friends to aid in the bail.

Most of the time an extra cash payment and full collateral are needed for a Bail Bond to be posted.

  • When the defendant fails to appear in court: The Bail Bond is removed and the court depends on the remaining 90% of the bail to be paid. The defendant’s collateral that includes a house, jewelry, stocks, etc is used by the bail bondsman to pay the bail amount to the court.
  • When the defendant does appear for court: Upon the ending of the court case, the Bail Bond is removed and the collateral is given back to the person who posted it. The 10% cash fee as profit is taken by the bail bondsman.

Example of Bail Bond 

For instance, if someone is arrested. The court set bail at $20,000. The defendant wants to be free from jail but he can't afford to have $20,000 in cash, so he looks forward to getting help from a Bail bondsman.

The bondsman demands $2,000 to post a Bail Bond for him, thus releasing him from jail until the court hearing.

For the rest of $19,000 of bail, the bondsman gets collateral from a defendant or his family. Collateral includes anything in the form of a car, a house, jewelry, etc. 

If the defendant appears at all court dates, the Bail Bondsman needs no additional money and the Bail Bond is settled at the end of the accuser's case. 

If the defendant does not appear in court, the bondsman has to pay the court the $19,000 of bail. To do this, the bondsman uses the defendant’s collateral.

If the defendant had bailed the $20,000 in cash, he would be refunded at the end of the case, regardless of the result.

How to get a Bail Bond

Bail Bonds are one of the most dangerous bonds to write. Therefore many companies don't offer it.

The reason for that is if the defendant didn’t show up in court, the surety bond company that issued the bond is reasonable for the full bond penalty. 

It is necessary to know the risk involved in Bail Bonds. Santa Ana bail bonds are the surety bond company that helps those defendants who can't pay the bail in cash.

Conclusion:

So the bail binder is the person that bails out someone from jail by posting bail bonds in the court. The bail binder takes great length and risk for the job because if the defendant escapes he has to give all the rest of the set amount of bail bond.


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