By our definition, bail bonds are arrangements that courts have devised to encourage defendants to show up in court voluntarily when due. Under the terms of the bail bond arrangement, a defendant is free to return to court from home rather than staying in court as an inmate. If the defendant is charged with murder and has to pay $500,000 as bail, he is liable for the whole amount in case of failure to show up in court when expected to do so. If the inmate cannot afford to pay such a huge amount, he would require our services, as the local bail bonds agent. Normally, we prefer dealing with multiple defendants at a time rather than individual offenders.
Bail Bondsman deal with Multiple Offenders at a time
Just as it is the case with other bail bondsman, we pay a blanket bond that covers bail meant for multiple defendants. We then charge each defendant 10% of the individual bail bond. We abide by the local laws through not offering our services for profit. We adhere to the laws by not soliciting clients inside the local state or county jails. The 10% fee that each defendant pays us is non-refundable. For large amounts, we ask defendants for collateral, which could be a car or piece of real estate. The 10% fee is a small penalty to pay for a defendant who doesn’t want to spend a minute more inside the jail, but would rather attend court sessions from home.
Bail Bonds are Available 24/7
Bail bonds are obtainable on a 24-hour basis. They’re available throughout the week. The bail bonds concept is strictly applicable within the United States of America. Other countries and jurisdictions have come up with a variety of ways to incentivize defendants to show up in court voluntarily rather than through coercion in the form of warrants of arrest. Bounty hunters work closely with us and other bail bondsmen. Bounty hunters have the main task of tracing and tracking any defendant who jumps bail. If a defendant fails to show up in court on the due date, a bounty hunter will be on his back and bring him to court.
Can defendants post their Bail Bonds?
The justice system allows defendants to post their own bail bonds. If the defendant is unable to do this, any other person could post bail on his behalf. A person who desires to post bail on behalf of a defendant must be 18 years old and above. Any person who posts bail on behalf of a defendant could wait for months before getting his money or asset back. If you post a cash bond, the courts could give you back some or all of the money. However, be ready to wait until the case is through. Be ready to wait until all the paperwork regarding the case is finished to receive your partial or full money back. We can speed up the process, but only after the case is over.
For cash bond, the defendant or a person acting on his behalf would pay not only the full amount, but also add $10 as Sheriff’s Fee. However, the Sheriff’s Fee is applicable in instances where the defendant or his representative, like ourselves, posts bail after the normal office hours. Do not hesitate to talk to the local Sheriff’s Office or us for details regarding the cash bond. Defendants must remember that bails are agreements that they enter into with the courts. The courts take this agreement very seriously, and so must the defendants. Bail bonds are a good way through which courts reduce the population of inmates inside the local county or state jails.
How Bail Bondsmen Protect their Financial risks
A person who posts bail on behalf of a defendant shall receive all his money back when accused attends all court sessions regarding his case and at the end of the proceedings, once the magistrate sentences him. Making bail on behalf of the defendant is our number one priority. This is because the case or trial might take months before commencing yet the defendant spends months in jail from his arrest. We take financial risks each time we serve a defendant. Therefore, it’s normal for us to insist that a relative or friend of the defendant puts up collateral. A defendant is less likely to jump bail when a relative’s asset, such as a house, is on the line.
It’s common for defendants to skip bail immediately after paying, whether directly or through us. This is why we come up with strategies for making follow-ups to ensure that the defendant has very little chance of jumping bail. One of the measures that we put up is to call the defendant just about when he is due in court for the criminal proceedings. At times, we prefer asking the defendant to report to our offices periodically to ascertain that he has not taken off, thus reducing his chances of jumping bail. As stated earlier, this is normal considering the huge financial risk that we and other bondsmen take.
How Long Before Bail Is Set?
The courts set bail bonds within 48 hours after a defendant’s arrest. Upon his arrest, the police shall take the defendant to jail and book him. They shall enter the defendant’s name and all other personal information into the police computer. The police shall take the defendant’s fingerprints and picture (or mugshot). The police shall then impound the defendant’s personal belongings that he has on him at the time of the arrest. The police shall then give the defendant a sobriety test, allow him the opportunity of making a single phone call before locking him in a cell. Thereafter, the police shall schedule a hearing where the judge shall determine the bail.
Factors determining the bail bonds amount
Setting the bail bonds amount is dependent on a number of factors. First, it’s dependent on the jurisdiction. Second, the amount depends on the crime that the defendant has committed. The amount would also depend on the sentence that the defendant is likely to serve for that particular crime. However, it’s worth mentioning that determining the bail is strictly at the judge’s discretion. In some cases, the judge might opt to discard bail completely for a gainfully employed, first time offender who resides locally and has a family in the local neighborhood. In such a case, the judge could discard or reduce the bail bond substantially.
For a multiple time offender, the judge could decide to increase the bail bond substantially or revoke it altogether. This is because the judge might view such an offender a huge risk, thus unworthy of the bail bonds. In some jurisdictions, an offender is entitled to a bail bond immediately upon his arrest without having to wait for a scheduled hearing. However, such an arrangement is only applicable to low level offences. The offender might receive good news to the effect that he can even pay the bail bond using his credit card and do so immediately, although this is dependent on crime and criminal record, but we can help in posting bail.
Types of Bail Bonds We Offer
The different types of bail bonds that each defendant must know which revolves around the services that we provide, include the following:
a) Surety Bond
b) Property Bond
c) Release on O.R (Own Recognizance)
d) Cite Out
e) Immigration Bond
Factors responsible for differences in Bail Bond Amounts
The bail bond amounts differ depending on the offence that the defendant committed. The amounts fall within the following categories of penal codes:
• Vehicle Codes
• Business and Professions
• Health and Safety
• Welfare and Institutions
How can a defendant be released from jail?
Generally, a defendant might be released from custody through the following ways:
i) By using us, as a bail agent, to pay his bail bonds
ii) Posting cash for the entire bail or bond amount with the jail or court either alone or with our help
iii) Using real estate assets as collateral
iv) Judge letting the defendant go on his own recognizance
What to know before contacting the bondsman
Before contacting us for bail bondsman services, you need to know the following details:
– Where are the police holding the defendant in custody?
– What is the defendant’s booking number and full name?
– What is the bail amount?
How to travel out of state or county when on bail
The defendant is free to leave the state, but only with the permission of the local courts. He could travel out of state or county, but only after informing us as his bonding office. The defendant can only inform us about his traveling plans in writing, and not any other way. Making a phone call will not suffice. Informing us by word of mouth would also not hold any water. Failure to adhere to these instructions could jeopardize the defendant’s freedom and bail bonds thus exposing him to arrest. Defendants should never forget that the state licenses and regulates our operations as bonding agents. Therefore, it’s common for us to work closely with the state.
Commonly Accepted Assets for Collateral
Some of the assets that we accept as collateral when the bail bonds are too high, thus riskier include the following:
a) Back accounts
b) Personal credit
f) Credit cards
h) Real estate
However, defendants must know that we have the right to accept a certain asset as collateral or refuse and demand for something different. Therefore, defendants cannot insist on availing a particular asset as collateral.
While a defendant is out on bond, he could be rearrested for committing the same or a different criminal offence. We understand all the risks associated with posting bail on behalf of our clients. More importantly, we provide these services to ensure that our clients do not struggle in trying to get their lives back on track after the little bump that emerged in the form of a court case. Our services ensure that defendants can continue with their lives while trying to prove their innocence in court. We do not worry about losing money, since we already have measures in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Our focus is on making life easier for defendants.