At some point, anyone may find themselves on the wrong side of the law and need some help getting out of jail. One option is to employ the help of a professional bond company like as Expert Bail. Regardless of the charges brought against you, there are several ways to respond calmly, intelligently, and in an honest and efficient way.
What is a Bail Bond and How Do They Work?
A bail bond is essentially a document that is presented to the court promising that a defendant in custody will appear at all necessary court hearings for the charge levied against him or her. If the defendant does not show up, he or she is said to have “jumped bail” and doing so can have even more serious consequences, including the issue of a “bench warrant” for the arrest of the defendant in question.
Following the arrest of the defendant, the local court normally establishes a bail cost. The cost of bail can depend on several factors, including the severity of the crime and whether the defendant is a repeat offender or if is their first offense. Many states have a bail schedule that sets forth the cost of bail for various offenses, though the judge is usually free to set a different amount.
Once the amount of bail is set, someone must contact a bail bondsman. This is usually a family member or close friend of the defendant, but can also be the defendant himself or herself. A family member or friend who contacts a bail agent is fills out all of the appropriate paperwork and pays a percentage of the bail cost.
In effect, this friend or family member is guaranteeing that they will pay the full cost of the bail if the defendant fails to appear in court as ordered and is often referred to as the guarantor or the indemnitor.
Usually, the bail agent will ask for some form of collateral to further guarantee the bond process. This collateral is always something of value, such as cash, a car or jewelry.
After the paperwork has been filled out, it usually takes less than an hour to be released. This can vary from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction however and may take between 30 minutes and 48 hours depending on local processes and rules.
How Much Are We Talking Here?
The exact amount a bail agent will charge depends on several factors. One of the main deciding factors is the cost of the bail itself set by the judge. In general, the more serious the offense, the higher the bail.
Bail agents normally charge a percentage of the total bail cost. Often, this is 10% of the total bail cost. The percentage of the bail is usually restricted by law. Bail bonds can normally be paid for with cash or credit card, though some bail agents also take checks or even PayPal.
Upon resolution of the defendant’s case and full payment of the bond, the collateral put up by the guarantor is returned to the guarantor.