Being arrested and jailed can be a disorienting and distressing experience for anyone. Fortunately, in the United States, individuals accused of a crime have the right to post bail to secure their temporary release as their case moves through the court system.
Paying bail allows someone to continue living their normal life as much as possible while dealing with criminal charges. However, it involves a rather complex process.
Understanding the essential procedures is important, especially when helping a loved one who’s been arrested.
1. Assessing Eligibility For Bail
Not everyone who gets arrested qualifies to pay bail as a way out of jail. The judge looks at factors like how serious the alleged crime is, if the person seems likely to try to escape the charges, and if they might threaten witnesses or the public. For very serious crimes, the judge often won’t allow the option of bail at all.
When bail is set at the first court hearing, contacting a bail bonds company quickly is crucial. These companies have agents who can get the bail bond paperwork done with the jail right away to get the arrested person released promptly.
2. Understanding Bail Bond Types
Bail rules differ from state to state. It’s helpful to understand the specifics in your own area, like how bail bonds in Long Beach work if you live there.
There are several forms of bail bonds, with three types being the most common. A cash bond requires the accused to pay the entire bail amount upfront. Property bonds use the value of property as collateral, whereas surety bonds involve an insurance company’s guarantee and typically require a 10% down payment. Surety bonds are the most common, as many people cannot afford to pay the total cash bond or don’t have sufficient collateral for a property bond.
3. Knowing How Bail Bonds Companies Work
Surety bonds effectively tap into the insurance backing of bail bond companies, giving an accused the ability to pay 10% of their total bail amount for their release. An experienced local bail bonds company guides clients through this process and shoulders the guarantor responsibilities required by the court.
They must ensure their clients make all court appearances and comply with the conditions of bail. Their expertise is vital for helping accused individuals avoid legal pitfalls at a vulnerable time.
4. Collecting Necessary Information
Securing a surety bond hinges upon providing the bail bonds company with the necessary information and following their instructions on securing the bond. Honestly and accurately providing complete information helps avoid delays. Clients must provide accurate information, including:
Their legal name
Jail or corrections facility location
Summary of the charges against them
Additional details like financial information help bail agents assess clients and may result in expedited bonding for qualified applicants.
5. Assessment By The Bail Bond Company
Once all the requested information is received, the bail bonds company assesses the client’s custody situation and the charges faced. They evaluate the client’s ties to the community and then decide whether they’re eligible for a surety bond. Not all accused individuals meet their criteria.
For those who qualify, the bail bond company moves forward with the application process by gathering signatures on the legal paperwork and collateral documents. They will outline schedules for any owed payments, review the defendant’s responsibilities to appear at all court dates, and satisfy the bail conditions. This is an important pre-release discussion to ensure the accused understands their commitment and the consequences of bond violation.
6. Paying The Bond Fee
Once all documentation is signed, the bail bond company pays a 10% bond fee. This payment and the signed collateral agreement effectively transfer responsibility for the full amount from the court to the bail bond company.
The bond fee and collateral protect their interests should defendants skip bail. However, provided the client shows up for all required court appearances and complies with the court-ordered terms of their release, this money is eventually returned according to the contract.
7. Finalizing The Actual Release
After completing all the above requirements, the bail bond company sends professional agents to the holding facility to post the surety bond with jail staff and secure the defendant’s release. They may personally bring released individuals to the company office for final instructions regarding court appearances, monitoring check-ins, and other case specifics.
While stressful and complex during an already difficult time, working with an experienced bail bond company can greatly reduce confusion. Their expertise and assistance make navigating bail and regaining temporary freedom possible.
With a commitment to the legal process and compliance with all instructions, accused individuals can avoid jail time in the meantime. This allows them to continue their responsibilities while their case awaits a court decision. The bail bond option enables maintaining productivity and morale despite facing charges.
Rene Bennett is a graduate of New Jersey, where he played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s Editor, he enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.