A Quick Guide to Bail Bonds
When a person is arrested, that is just the first step in what can be a long and convoluted process. Bail bonds are a way to allow the person who’s been arrested to maintain commitments to work and family while a case moves from initial arrest to charges and, if necessary, to trial. Understanding what a bail bond involves and the commitments that come with it can make everything go far more smoothly.
Steps from Arrest to Trial
The first step is processing. The step takes a few hours and involves being photographed and fingerprinted. After that, they will go up before a judge and a bail amount will be set. The amount of bail that is expected is based on the severity of the crime and the individual’s criminal history, as well as other factors unique to each cas.e If there are several charges, bail will be set for each one.
At this point, the person who has been arrested has a choice: they can choose to stay in jail until trial, or they can pay bail to be released for the time being. Since a criminal case typically takes months from start to finish, most people choose to bond out if they are able to.
The bail is a cash amount that is given so that the court can be assured that individuals who are arrested and released will return to complete the court process. If someone fails to appear, the money that was spent on bail is forfeited. However, if they appear as required, then the money is refunded at the end of the court process.
What if I Don’t Have Enough to Pay Bail?
Bail amounts often go well into the thousands. Most people, however, do not have ready cash available to cover the full amount of bail. This is where the assistance of a bail bondsman comes in. A bail bondsman is someone who has a standing agreement with the local courts. They will cover an individual’s full bail amount. This allows the individual to get out of jail and continue going to work, taking care of family and attending to other commitments.
In exchange for having bail paid, the individual or a family member will pay a fee to the bail bondsman and make an agreement known as a bail bond. The fee is typically equal to a percentage of the full bail. There will also typically be property offered as security in case the bail is forfeited.
We can walk you through the process of paying bail and getting out of jail. Get in touch today to learn more.