Frequently Asked Questions About Bail Bonds
It is common for people to not know what to expect regarding bail bonds until they or a loved one is arrested. As such, they often ask the same questions about bail, the bonding process, how to get in touch with a bail bondsman, and the associated costs. Here, we attempt to provide answers to FAQs for bail bonds.
Financially speaking, a bail bond company is basically a lending institution combined with a law enforcement assistance organization. Because many people who are arrested lack the cash to pay for bail out of pocket (it may range from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars), bail bondsmen provide the service of lending them bail money for a 10 percent fee, not unlike a bank charging interest. The bail bond company then pays the full bail amount to the court, allowing the defendant to be released until trial. When the defendant appears for their court date, the court returns the full amount of the bond to the bondsman. If the defendant “jumps bail” and fails to make their court appearance, the bondsman is allowed to pursue, arrest, and return them to law enforcement custody, at which point he can recover the bail money he posted on their behalf.
There is certain information that a bail agent will need in order to help you:
- Where is the person in custody? (Make sure that you ask the person in custody where they are located including the city, state, and the name of jail).
- What is the full name and booking number of person in jail? The bail agent will need this information in order to contact the jail. The bail agent can get the booking number for you if you forgot or if it was not available.
- How much is the bail? The bail agent will get this information when they contact the jail if you do not have it. With the bail amount, the bail bondsman can tell you the amount it will cost to post a bond and requirements to get the person out of jail.
There are four ways in which a person may be released from custody.
- You can use a bondsman.
- You can post cash for the full amount of the bond with the court or jail.
- You can use real property (such as a home or a lot) with the court.
- And lastly the judge can decide to let the defendant go on their own recognizance.
There are a few exceptions to this but you do not get your premium back that you paid to the bonding office. This fee is what allowed the defendant to get out of jail and is fully earned once the defendant is out of custody. For example if the defendant gets rearrested a week later you get no portion nor a refund of any money. If the bondsman fails to live up to his end of the contract then and only then you may be entitled to a refund of some kind.
Oh, gosh, yes. Life happens at all hours, but even more so on the weekends, so Caeser Bail Bonds provides 24/7 service. Being arrested and imprisoned is frightening, and we’re here to help people through the process—and get them out—as quickly as possible, all the time.
The next question is, “Can you actually be released from jail on the weekend?” The answer is, “Maybe.” It depends on your charges. Some offenses have standard bail amounts, and when this is the case, a bondsman can usually pay the amount and get you out over the weekend. More serious offenses, however, may require the defendant to face a judge before bail is set, and judges don’t hold hearings on weekends, so you’re stuck in the clink until at least the following Monday.
Like discounts, the general costs in your area depend on the locale’s statutes and regulations. Bonding agents are generally licensed and regulated by the state. The guiding principle is that the premium rates are not to be “excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.” If you are interested in the cheapest bail bonds in your area, you can visit here to find out what the rates that allowed by law in your area.
Each bonding office will have their own standards but for the most part you can expect them to accept various forms of bail collateral. Some example of collateral include:
- Real estate
- Credit cards
- Personal credit
- Bank accounts
Once the defendant is back in custody the bond can be surrendered and your liability will be terminated. There are a few problems here: if you decided to surrender the bond you will lose the premium that was paid, and if you decided to get the defendant out on bond again, you will now have to post two new bonds and pay the premium on both bonds again.
The fact that you are arrested is public record. The arrest record may also list the name of the bond company that pays your bail. But any information give to the bond agent is confidential, and like attorneys, bondsmen adhere to a strict code of client confidentiality. The only way this information can be made public is if, in the course of investigating your case, the legal system subpoenas information from the bondsman as evidence.