When people are involved in some sort of crime or offence and arrested, they are often told by the judge to pay a certain amount in bail during their acquittal so they can be free to go about their business pending the date set by the court for the case.
This scenario typically applies to serious crimes. Offences that aren’t as serious often have a set amount pre-determined by the courts that the offender can pay to appropriate quarters without having to go to court.
For more serious crimes, when the judge slams a huge bail sum on the offender, they would often have to come up with some or all of the money before they can be released. In many instances, some of these offenders are unable to meet the steep fine, and in cases of particularly serious crimes or high “flight risk.”
When this happens, they opt for something called bail bonds. Bail bonds are a pretty tricky subject — and one that many people don’t understand. Simply put, bail bonds are a form of payment usually in the form of collateral, assets, or even insurance claims, put up by the accused if they cannot raise the full amount for their bail.
With bail bonds, the accused is able to gain temporary freedom, depending on the court’s discretion. If it’s temporary, they can go about their normal business until they have to appear before the court. The practice of bail bonds is to ensure that the accused doesn’t flee or jump bail.
Bail bonds are “guarantees” usually facilitated by a bail bondsman or agency who assumes the responsibility of payment to the court in the event that the accused doesn’t show up in court. In essence, if you don’t show up on the court date, the bail bonds agency or bondsman will pay the fine in full. This is why these agents often ask for collateral.
Depending on the severity of your crime and amount involved, the arrestee is often required to pay the bondsman or agency a between five and fifty percent of the bail sum.
To help you understand this, let’s assume that you were granted a bail of $500,000. If you were to opt for a bail bonds option with an agreed payment percentage of 10 percent, you would have to pay the agency or bondsman $50,000 after you have been hopefully cleared of all charges or acquitted.
Please note that the courts will deny the accused the option of a bail bond if it’s convinced that the accused is a substantial flight risk or if there is sufficient reason to believe the individual might cause further harm to themselves or others.
Sometimes, the accused themselves refuse the option of a bail bond if they don’t think they can pay the bail bondsman’s fees. There’s also the scenario where the court suspects that bond money was raised courtesy of criminal actions. In this instance, the court will deny the bail bonds too.
Cash Bonds Vs Non-Cash Bonds
Cash bails are usually required when the court considers the accused a flight risk. These bails are usually set at an amount so high that the person won’t be able to afford it.
Non-cash bonds include:
• Citation release — when an officer issues a speeding ticket to erring driver to be paid to the courts.
• Recognizance release — the accused is released based solely on their word and signature. Fees are usually set in case they don’t show up for their court date.
• Surety bond — the accused hires a bail bondsman to secure their freedom in exchange for some payment. The accused will often need to provide collateral.
• Property bond — the accused can leverage their own property as collateral against set bail.
How Bail Bond Attorneys Can Help You
If there’s an arrest warrant out for you or you’re already in jail, a bail bonds attorney like Conan and Herman can help clear that warrant or get you out of jail as quickly as possible by issuing an attorney bail bond, where they take responsibility similarly to a bail bondsman as they help defend your rights.