7 Important Things You Need to Know About Bail
If you’ve never been behind bars or have had a friend or family member arrested, then your only knowledge about bail bands may be from TV shows and movies. Research shows that approximately one in every 20 people will serve time in prison at some point in their lifetime. Unfortunately, this means that you will eventually encounter someone who will be relying on bail bond to get out of jail. If so, you should know as much as possible about what they are, how to use them and all the other factors involved in the process.
1.Defining a Bail Bond
A bail bond is a set amount of money that a person has to pay to get a defendant out of jail. It can take up to 48 hours after the arrest for the amount to be decided. After bail is paid, the person is free to leave under specific conditions set by the judge. Being able to go home, while awaiting a court date and trial, is extremely important because it allows the defendant to prepare for the upcoming months. If he or she has a family, this is a good time to spend time with them, especially if there is more jail or prison time possibly awaiting in the future. Also, being home gives the person a chance to earn a living, take care of responsibilities and save money.
2. Different Types of Bail Bonds and How They Work
There are cash bonds, which are paid in full with cash. These types of bonds are often more expensive than surety bonds because they require an upfront amount of money. Surety bonds (bail bonds) are set for major crimes, such as felonies. After someone has been arrested for allegedly committing a severe crime, a high amount is set for bail. For extremely high amounts, a third or a bondsman is often involved because they will help you cover the remaining balance once you post at least 10 percent of bail. The Bail bondsman will write an agreement that ensures that the defendant will definitely appear at the court dates in the future, and they hold collateral in exchange for the release.
3.Bail Bond Requirements
If you have a friend or family member who is in need of bail, there are a few things that you should know about securing the bond. First, confirm that the person is in custody. Then, have their full legal name, booking number and the exact amount of bail. Also, keep in mind that if you sign the paperwork, you are the person who is responsible if the defendant skips future court date.
4. Using Collateral
Each company has their own rules as to what pertains as collateral. Most bail bonds companies consider anything that is an asset or worth a significant of wealth as an acceptable form of collateral. For example, you can use cars, jewelry, real estate, valuable stocks, bank accounts, credit cards and more. Once the person is released upon making bail, it is essential to adhere to the rules set by the bail bondsman and the court.
5. Understanding Bail Amounts
While there are standard bail amounts that are set based on the severity of the offence, a judge has the right to increase the bail at their own discretion. Behaviour, past conviction and income can often be factors that influence a judge’s decision. If the defendant has an extensive history with law and prison, lawyers should look into getting the criminal record expunged. However, the judge can deny bail at any time, which means that the person will have to remain in jail until sentencing. Additionally, the defendant can file a motion to have their bail amount reduced. A good attorney at Rawlings.law can help with this process as it would need to be proven that the defendant cannot pay for the set amount. Experienced lawyers would be able to make a convincing case to the judge that all court dates would made without resistance. Since this is a sensitive topic, it is best handled by a professional legal team who is familiar with getting bail reduced or eliminated instead of denied.
6. Violating Bail and Consequences
If there is one violation, then a warrant for the person’s arrest will be ordered, and there will be no second chances. In the event that you refuse to show up for a court date, then a bond enforcement agency has the legal right to find you. If you are not found within six months, you forfeit your collateral and have to pay your full bail amount.
7.Getting Your Money Back
The money that the bail bonds company collects is payment for their services, so that money is never returned. If the defendant has a cash bond, there is a possibility that the person might be a portion of it after sentencing. The bail amount will go towards any fees that were accrued during court, including public defender fees, court costs and other fines. However, if there is money leftover, the defendant might be able to collect a small amount.
Facing a criminal charge may be a completely stressful experience for the defendant as well as for the family member or friend who is trying to help with posting bail. By enlisting a supportive legal team who can add a sense of assertiveness, confidence and serenity to the situation, all involved parties will be able to approach the charge with a comprehensive understanding on how to move forward starting from handling the bail process.