Bail and bail bonds are confusing subjects for anyone who does not work in the legal field. But it is important to understand these topics if you ever have to deal with an arrest, whether of yourself or a loved one. With some basic bail bond knowledge, managing arrests, jail, and court can be less stressful for you and those you love.
Continue below to read through some of the most frequently asked questions about bail bonds, and get the information you need to be prepared for an arrest.
What is Bail?
Bail refers to the amount of money set by a judge for a person to be released from jail to await their scheduled court hearings. The amount of money set by the courts is determined by the person’s past criminal record, current offense, and their level of threat to society. Their level of threat includes the likelihood of them committing another crime while awaiting sentencing.
What is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond, also known as a surety bond, refers to a service or contract that facilitates a person’s release from jail by using a bail bondsman. The bail amounts set by courts can be very high and not everyone has that kind of cash available to them at once, so as an alternative, a bail agency can be hired to secure a person’s release from jail. The agency guarantees the courts that you will appear for your scheduled hearing, and in return they allow the person to await their sentencing dates at home.
How Much Does a Bail Bond Cost?
Bail bondsmen charge a non-refundable fee that is a set percentage of the total bond amount, and you do not get this money back after your court case is over. The set percentage for bail bond fees are regulated by the state. Here in Indiana, bail bondsmen can charge anywhere between10 to 15 percent of the full bond amount. For example, a $10,000 bond premium will cost $1,000 to $1,500 for a bail bond.
What is Collateral?
Collateral might be required by a bail bond company under special circumstances, but usually it is not necessary. Collateral can be money, assets, property, and more. The collateral is held until the bail bond is exonerated and the premium is paid in full. See our blog, “What Do Bail Bond Companies Accept As Collateral?” to learn more about this payment arrangement.
How Do I Bail a Person Out of Jail?
If you want to bail a friend or loved one out of jail, your best course of action is to contact a local bail bond company in the county where the arrest took place. For instance, if your friend was arrested in Marion County, they will be transported to the Marion County jail. So you would want to contact a bail bond company near that jail. Once you contact a bail bondsman, they can handle the rest of the process for you. They will give you all the information you need to make a decision on whether or not you want to move forward with the bail bond process. You will have to pay a non-refundable fee and sign a contract that holds you liable for the full bond amount.
What Information Do I Need to Bail a Person Out of Jail?
You really only need the person’s name and county of arrest to get the bail bond process started with a local bail agent. But if you want to possibly speed up the process, it helps to have the following information to give to your bail bondsman:
✏ Full Name
✏ Booking Number
✏ County of Arrest
✏ Arrest Charges
✏ Bond Amount
What Liability Do I Have if I Bail Someone Out of Jail?
If you are assuming the responsibility of signing for a friend or loved one’s bail bond, you are taking on a very serious legally-binding obligation. The co-signer, or indemnitor, is responsible for the full face value of the bail bond, which is the total bond amount. So if a defendant’s bond is set at $5,000 and you co-sign for their bail, if they do not appear for court you will be legally-bound to pay the entire $5,000 or face legal penalties yourself. This is why it is so important to only co-sign bail bond agreements for close friends and family, or people you know you can trust. Never sign for a person you have just met or only known for a short while. See our blog, “The Responsibilities of a Bail Bond Contract” to learn more about bail bond agreements.
Can I Bail Myself Out of Jail for an Arrest Warrant?
Yes, you can post your own bail when surrendering to an arrest warrant. Your Indianapolis bail bondsman can prearrange a bail bond for you, before you turn yourself into the jail. Once you are booked and processed in the jail database, the bail agent will post your bail, pick you up from the jail, and then take you back to their office to complete the rest of the paperwork. See our blog, “How to Post Your Own Bail For an Outstanding Arrest Warrant” for details.
How Soon Can I Post Bail?
The amount of time spent in county jail depends on the circumstances of a person’s arrest. If you have previous charges on your record or happen to be awaiting trial on pending charges, the jail time will usually increase. If you are arrested while awaiting trial on other charges, then you may be held until your next court date, and bail will be prohibited, however, this varies case to case. If you are arrested on alcohol charges, bail will be denied for at least 8 or 9 hours, because under law, a person must be sober to be booked and processed into jail. If you are arrested on battery charges or resisting arrest charges, a judge can altogether deny your opportunity for bail, and keep you locked up until your court date.
Where Can I Get Fast Bail Bonds in Indianapolis?
Call Woods Bail Bonds at 317-876-9600 for safe and secure Indianapolis Indiana bail bonds you can trust, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Not only do we serve both adult and juvenile clients, we also offer prearranged bail bond services for those needing to surrender to an arrest warrant. In some cases, we can get you turned in and released in as little as one hour. Request a free estimate or jail information, anytime.