Many people are arrested and held in jail each year, and while they have not been convicted of any crime yet, they cannot afford to post bail on their own. That is where bail bonds come in.
A bail bond guarantees that an individual will attend their court dates while they await trial. But how does it work?
What is a Bail Bond?
Bail bonds are something that most people think about when they need to use one. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing a bail bond for yourself or a loved one, it’s essential to understand how it works to avoid being taken advantage of.
A bail bond is a type of surety bond used to post the amount of money a court has set for releasing an accused person. This amount is based on several factors, including the severity of the crime and the likelihood that the defendant will run away or fail to appear in court for their trial.
While it is possible to get out of jail by simply paying the amount the court has set, this can be challenging for most families. For this reason, many people turn to bail bond companies to help them post their bail.
How Does a Bail Bond Work?
When arrested for a crime, they are taken to jail, where they wait for their court date. Sometimes, a judge will allow the accused to be released on their recognizance (if it is a low-level crime), or bail will be set. This is where a bail bonds Scranton PA company steps in to help.
The amount of the bail is determined at the arraignment. It depends on several factors, including the severity of the crime, your history with the law, character, family ties, and whether the judge thinks you will flee the jurisdiction.
If the judge agrees to let you post bail, they will give you a specified amount of money or collateral returned to you at the end of the case if you appear for all court dates. However, only some have the cash available to post bail. That is where a bail bond agent can help. They will post the bail amount on your behalf for a fee.
What Are the Benefits of a Bail Bond?
Many people are arrested and cannot afford to pay their full bail. This can disrupt their lives as they miss work, care for family, and plan for court proceedings. Bail bonds help ease the burden of paying for your bail so you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
A bond is a non-refundable fee paid to the bail bondsman to guarantee your appearance in court for all hearings and trials. This fee is set by law and can be calculated using this calculator. The bail agent will also ask loved ones to pledge collateral for the bond. This collateral can include cash, real estate, jewelry, or even vehicles.
If the defendant makes all their court appearances, the company will return the collateral to the loved one who paid for the bond at the end of the case. However, if the defendant does not make all their court appearances, the company will hire a bounty hunter to track them down and take them back to jail to be charged with failure to appear.
How Can I Get a Bail Bond?
In most states, defendants can get out of jail on bail. A judge sets this amount during the arraignment, and it depends on the severity of the crime, their criminal record, and whether the court thinks they are likely to flee. Defendants may pay their bail in cash or through a bondsman.
Many people are unable to afford to pay their bail themselves. They can ask friends and family to bail them out of jail, but they must sign an agreement that outlines that they are responsible for the defendant showing up for all trial dates and other required court proceedings.
They also agree to pay a fee (usually 10% or less of the total bail amount) to the bond company acting as their third party. If the defendant skips out on their bail, the company will contact the court and attempt to recover the money that they lost. This could involve forfeiting property or even their entire house.