Bail Bonds – Where, When, and Why to Get Them

Bail bonds are often necessary to get someone released from jail. When a person is arrested, he or she is taken into custody by law enforcement. The person may be released on his or her own recognizance or with a citation, but typically only when the crime is minor. In most cases, a monetary amount is specified as bail, which must be paid to the court for the person to get out of jail. Since the person cannot access his or her own money from jail, it is often up to a friend or family member to pay the bail.

The court, at a judge’s discretion, sets the bail amount. The judge considers the defendant’s prior record and the type of charges when setting the amount. Bail is not a type of punishment for the incarcerated individual. The intention of this fee is to guarantee that the defendant will appear in court at all scheduled proceedings involving the case. The constitution protects defendants from excessive bail, or an unnecessarily high amount that does not fit the crime. When the amount is paid in full, it is refunded to the defendant after the case has ended. Many people are not able to pay the full amount, so bail bonds are a good alternative.

Most bail bond companies charge a fee of only ten percent of the total bail amount. The agent or bondsman assumes responsibility for ensuring the defendant’s court appearances. During an initial consultation with the purchaser of the bond, the agent assesses the level of risk involved in assuming this burden. He or she obtains information about the case, including where the defendant is being held, what the charges are, and whether the defendant is employed. In addition to paying the fee for the bond, the purchaser must also sign paperwork. This paperwork typically includes a bond application and a Bail Indemnity Agreement. Once the documents and fee are taken care of, the agent files the bond with the court.

The actual bail bond is essentially a contract from the agent or company guaranteeing that the defendant will appear in court. If the defendant misses a court appearance, the court may issue a bench warrant. By failing to appear, the defendant not only forfeits the right to stay out of jail, but also commits a separate crime. He or she may have to serve additional jail time for this violation. When this happens, the bond agent may attempt to locate the defendant to be exonerated from the bond.

The agent may employ a bounty hunter to return the defendant to the custody of a law enforcement agency. The person who purchased the bond also bears some responsibility for the defendant and the bail, and is expected to assist the bond agent in finding the defendant. When the bail bond agent cannot find the defendant, he or she is responsible for the total bail amount, plus court costs. The agent typically tries to recover the expenses from the purchaser of the bond.

You can have a personal injury lawyer if you deem you are wrongfully accused or mishandled. That on the other hand, needs to be dealt with legally and swiftly.

Bail bonds are a good alternative for people who cannot afford the whole bail amount, and bond agents can usually get the defendant released within a few short hours. The person purchasing a bond should be aware of the risk and responsibility involved beforehand.

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