Bail BondsBail frequently asked questions
What is Bail?
Once charged with a crime the court wants a financial guarantee to be assured you will appear in court for your trial. Bail is set by the arraignment judge and will be a specific amount of money required to obtain your release from police custody. You then promise to appear in court for all of your scheduled trial proceedings. When you attend court as promised, the bail money held as security will be returned. If not you do not appear (skipping bail), a warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest and you will forfeit the total monies held as bail. Most folks do not have the required amount of money for bail and this is where a bail bond comes into play.
What is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a document that secures a sum of money, determined by the court (commensurate with the gravity of the alleged offense), that will be forfeited if the defendant fails to return to court on the trial date.
A bail agent helps defendants and their familes who are financially unable to post their own bail. The bail bond company assumes the liability to the court for the full amount of bail if the defendant fails to appear for the court date in return for a fee (typically 10%-20% of the bond value). The bail company requires items of collateral before agreeing to assume the risk of posting bail. This collateral is a backup to secure any potential losses the bail agent might incur if the defendant does not appear and the bail is forfeit.
Other Frequently Asked Bail Bond Questions
What is Collateral
Collateral is something of value that the bail bond agency is given or assigned in order to cover the full bail amount. Collateral can be in the form of real estate, vehicles, cash, jewelry, guns or anything else of value.
What will I need in order to secure a bail bond?
The Indemnitor or person seeking the bond on behalf on the jailed party will need proper identification and be able to provide the bondsman with personal information such as drivers license, address, phone number, social security number, a pay-stub or other verification of employment.
What is a Surety Bond
A surety bond is a contract between at least three parties: The principal, the obligee, and the surety. The surety company essentially insures the bond amount. The Surety agreement is setup by the bail agent on behalf of the defendant or their family.
What is a Cash Bond?
What is a Property Bond?
The court records a lien on physical property, to secure the bail amount.
What information should I have before I contact the bail agent?
- Defendant’s First/Last Name
- Booking Number
- Jail Location
- Bond Amount
How long will it take for a bond to be posted?
As soon as you have completed the necessary paperwork we can immediately post the bond with the court. The quicker you can provide the appropriate information and collateral the quicker we can post bond. If the person being held is still in the central booking location they can be released quickly. If they have already been moved to one of the jails it can take a little longer, typically within 24 hours.
What does bond forfeiture mean?
A bail bond may be held forfeit if the person released on bail violates the conditions of bail e.g. does not appear in court on the due date. If this should happen the judge can forfeit the bond. The consequences will likely be that the person that violated their bail will be incarcerated until trial and any collateral held against the bond may be lost.
How much does a Bail Bond cost?
This can depend on the type of bond and the amount and the specific situation. Typically the cost is approx 10% of the bond value. There may also be sundry fees for storage of collateral etc.
What is a cosigner?
The cosigner of a bail bond must ensure all premiums and fees are paid and that the defendant appears in court on their due date. It is typically the collateral of the cosigner that secures the bail.