What are bail bonds?
A bail bond is a resource for a defendant to use to secure their release from jail during an on going trial. The judge sets an amount for the defendant which is paid to the court to ensure their appearance for their court dates. Fees paid to the courts are typically refunded upon conclusion of the trial by the courts (except any Sheriff fess paid).
How does bail work?
Although bailing out of jail may seem like a complicated process due to the various legal avenues this has to pass through, the process is simple in it’s design. When a defendant is arrested they are allowed to post bail which works like a collateral payment to allow the defendant their temporary release from jail while their case goes to trial. Bailing out of jail does not buy a defendant out of their charges! The money is held by the courts to ensure that the defendant appears to all of their court dates and completes their trial. If they are convicted they will be sentenced like usually and if they win their trial they are set free. Despite which ever outcome the money paid to the courts is returned upon the successful conclusion of the trial.
How does a bondsman profit?
Strict regulations state that a bondsman can only receive 10% on bonds, however in some cases this can be lowered to 8% depending on the defendant’s eligibility such as military veteran, lawyer, etc. Bonds agencies are unable to offer discounts or coupons to incentivize their services. When and individual uses a bondsman, the bondsman is essentially paying the full cost up front and charging the defendant the 10% fee from the full amount that is returned by the courts after the conclusion of the trial.
How is bail determined?
Fees are determined by the county’s Superior Court in a document called the Bail Schedule. This document is updated annually to include any changes to laws and fees and is published live for the public by the Superior Court. This document is a general guideline for the bonding amount for infractions, misdemeanors and felony charges.
Who determines if a defendant is eligible for a bond?
The judge ultimately determines a defendant’s eligibility for posting bail depending on the nature of the charges and the defendant’s previous criminal history. In some cases a judge may make the decision to deny a defendant the right to bonding out of jail which typically will result if the defendant is deemed to be a flight risk or a previous bail jumper.
What types of bail bonds are there?
There are several bonds types that a defendant can utilize in order to post a bond with the courts.
A cash bond is the simplest type of bond requiring only cash as collateral for a defendant’s release from jail or holding. In most states and counties a defendant is actually able to post cash bonds directly with the court bypassing the need for a bondsman.
A surety bond is a contract between a bondsman and a defendant (in some cases a third party family or friend) which states that the bondsman will put up the bail amount on behalf of the defendant and the defendant will ensure they appear for their court dates. These are the most common type of bonds applied for by defendants in jail and essential works by having a bondsman post a cash bond on the defendant’s behalf.
A property bond uses the equity of a home or property as collateral for a bail bonds. These sometimes entail a payment method with the bonding company using the property equity as collateral in the event that payments are not made.