There are many questions that come up about bail, bonds, and the entire bail bond process. Many wonder how these laws and regulations differ from state to state, or among counties. Defendants wonder “how much?”, “how long?”, and what to expect.
What Does “Processing” Mean?
Processing is what takes place after a person is arrested and taken to jail. It is when the jail starts to collect all their information and enter their arrest into the system. This is also referred to as “booking”. They begin by searching you, confiscating personal effects like purses, wallets, hats, jewelry, and hair ties. They will follow with fingerprinting, background checks, warrant checks, and completing a general profile of the person in the system. Once the processing is done, the person is eligible for bond.
How Long Does the Processing Part Take?
If the person is under the influence of any kind, they are required to detox for up to 8 hours before completely finishing the processing steps. This is why some arrestees are in jail for up to 72 hours on just an OWI charge. They have to be sober and coherent to take part in the processing stage. It also depends on the size of the jail, the amount of staff personnel available, the amount of traffic through the jail, and other situations that can affect time efficiency. The processing time cannot really be determined exactly because it all depends on so many different variables. It can take a few hours or a few days, you just never know.
How Much is a Bail Bond?
These rates are pretty straight-forward. They remain fairly constant, depending on what State you live in. In Indiana, for example, the standard rate is 10% of the full bond total. So if a bond was $5,000, a bail agency will charge $500 to bail a person out of jail. It can range to the 15% if the person is a frequent offender or if it’s under different state laws.
Can a Bail Bondsman Decline Service?
Simply put: yes. A bail bond agent is not obligated to take on a defendant’s case if they suspect them to be a “flight” concern. This means they are not willing to put up their own money to gamble that the person will show up for their court date, because if they don’t, the bond agency owes their entire bond amount. “Flight concern” means they think they might flee the state to avoid charges.
What Information Should I Give a Bail Bondsman?
They will need the usual name, date of birth, address, and so forth. They will also ask for employment verification, the charges that are pending against said person, and the jail they are detained in. More information is needed as well, such as bail amount and booking number. If someone doesn’t have the booking number or bail amount, the agent can request if from the jail, it will just take a little longer.