Continue reading for a brief overview of the bail bonds industry and the professionals who run it.
A bail bond is a formal legal document that provides bail in order to get a person (defendant) released from jail. A bail bondsman is a person, or company, that acts as a surety for the bail, and pledges money to the courts in exchange for a defendants release from jail. This money is then returned to the bail bondsman once the defendant completes all of their court-related obligations, such as hearings, trials, probation, and more.
If the defendant fails to appear for court or violates their court orders or bail bond agreement, the bail bondsman is forced to forfeit the money they pledged until they can locate the defendant and return them to the court to face their charges. In this case, the person who co-signed for the bail bond (generally a friend or family member) will be responsible to pay the bail bondsman the full bond amount they initially pledged for the defendant’s release from jail. It is all a bit complicated because bail agreements may vary just as every case varies as well. It is best to discuss these details with your local licensed Indianapolis bail bondsman.
Cost of Bail
Bail bonds are price-controlled by the state and vary according to local ordinances. The general price cap for bail bonds in most states is ten to fifteen percent of the full bond amount. For example, if a defendant’s bond is set at $5,000 and the state allows a 15% bail bond service fee, a bail bond would cost the co-signer or defendant $750. This, by the way, is non-refundable and must be paid in cash, debit, or cashiers’ check. In some states, there is an automatic 5% added on for local taxes, relief initiatives, and more.
Bail Bond Process
Anyone can sign for a person’s bail bond, so long as they are an adult, legal U.S. citizen, and has valid identification. The person who chooses to assist in bailing a person out of jail is usually a friend or family member, but sometimes a co-worker, lover, lawyer, or other willing and able adult. They must sign the bail bond company’s contract that obligates them to pay the entire bond amount to the bail bondsman if the defendant violates their court orders in any way. This is why it is a very big deal to co-sign for a person’s bail. You must know them well and trust them before agreeing to pay back thousands of dollars if they violate. Once the paperwork and agreements are signed and payment is collected, the bail bondsman can then go claim the defendant and get them out of jail. So long as they are sober and processed into the jail’s system, they are free to go on bail.