Frequently Asked Questions About Bail Bonds
We hope this information helps you better understand what a bail bond is and how the process works:
What is a bail bond?
A bail bond is an agreement between a bail bonds agent and a co-signer whereby the latter becomes liable for the full dollar amount of the bond if the bailed-out individual fails to appear for his/her court hearings. Skipping bail will forfeit the bail money to the court, and the bail bonds agent will have the right to recover it from the co-signer.
What is a cash bond?
When paying the full bail amount upfront, this is a “cash bond”. This way, when paying all the money upfront to the court, you won’t need a bail bond. Most people are not able to do this. The cash is refunded in full once the case ends, regardless of the verdict. One thing that is REALLY IMPORTANT, if the defendant misses any court dates, it is possible to lose all the money permanently to the court.
How is the bail amount determined?
This is somewhat difficult to determine because there are several different ways that bail amount can be set. In most cases, when a person is arrested on a warrant, the amount will already be assigned. However, the bail is set and conducted by a magistrate judge after the arrest during the bail hearing. The judge will have sole discretion in determining the bail amount based on county bail schedules. In some cases, the judge can refuse bail if a person is thought likely to leave the country before a trial or bail hearing.
How much does a bail bond cost?
The usual fee for a bail bond is as low as 10% of the full bail amount, depending on the charge and history of the defendant. Some bail bonds will offer payment plans for those who can’t come up with the full fee, but usually will require collateral on the bond financing. Those with good credit scores may, however, qualify for a no-interest, nothing-down loan.
How long does it take to post the bond?
Filling out paperwork usually takes around 30 minutes, but posting the bond must await the arrestee being booked. After the bond is posted, there is also a sometimes lengthy release process. If the jail is busy, the bail bonds process could still take 3 to 24 hours or more.
What is bail bond Collateral?
Bail Bond Collateral is may be in the form of money, real estate, vehicles, etc. that you deposit with the bail bond company. Collateral will be held until the bond is dismissed and the premium has been paid completely.