In the United States, bail is a payment that a suspect of a crime pays as a pledge that they will appear in court. It can also be called an insurance policy for public safety. The money or promise of money (with collateral and/or sureties) paid at the moment of release from custody by defendants, or on their behalf by a bondsman, in order to be allowed to return to their homes before trial rather than being held in jail.
In the past few years America has seen many changes with bail bond agents and bounty hunters, but there are still some things that even they don’t know or understand about the bail bond system. This article will explain what a bail bond is and the most important things you should know about them.
What is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond agent gets paid for posting a person’s bail, also known as the defendant’s “bond.” The amount of money that was paid to release someone from jail before trial is called the bail amount. If the defendant does not appear for his or her court date, the bail amount will need to be paid again in order for them to be released.
Bail bond agents set their own fee schedule for posting bail. Fees can range from 10 percent to 15 percent of the total amount of money posted as bail, depending on state law and company policy. Bail bond agents also receive compensation when the defendant appears in court as required.
How to use an Agent?
A bail bondsman can be used in place of having to pay the full amount of money that is posted for someone’s release from jail before trial. This way, if you do not have the funds yourself, your family or friends can pay the bail bond agent what you owe them, and then they pay the court the full amount of the bail.
Who needs to use a Bail Bondsman?
According to state laws, anyone who does not have enough money to post their own bail must use a bail bonding service. Anyone who uses or attempts to use someone else’s assets or money without authorization, must post their own bail.
How does a Bail Bond work?
When the defendant is arrested, they are brought to jail until their trial. The court sets how much money it will cost for them to be released on bail before their trial date. If someone pays that amount of money to the court, they are free to go until their trial date.
If the defendant has enough money that is available to them, then they can just pay the full amount of bail that was set by the court and be released immediately. If not, they will need to use a bail bondsman service who charges fees for posting bail. That fee is usually ten percent of the full bail amount and the defendant must pay it to be released.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, consult with a local bail bond agent to discuss your legal options. A professional bail bondsman can help provide information on the different types of bails that are set by courts and defendants for which they may qualify.