When it comes to bail bonds, people have questions. Since there are so many companies to choose from, various types of bail bonds available, and a wide range of information pertaining to the surety industry, it is no surprise that people get confused about bail and bail bonds. Look below for a list of the best questions to ask yourself about bail bonds, and the important answers to them all.
What Do I Need to Know Before I Call a Bail Bondsman?
When you call a bail bondsman, they will need specific information from you. Have this information ready to go before you contact a bail bonds company:
1. The defendant’s full name;
2. The defendant’s booking number (they can help you with this if you don’t have it);
3. The city and county where the defendant is being held;
4. The bail amount set by the judge (they can help you with this too if you don’t have it);
How Does the Bail Bond Process Work?
When a person is arrested, they have the opportunity to post bond if one is set for them. When they do not want to pay the full cash amount to the court, they can choose to use a bail bond instead. They contact a bail agent who will cover the full bail amount in exchange for their conditional release from jail. They do this for a non-refundable fee.
Do I Have to Sign a Contract for a Bail Bond?
Yes; obtaining a bail bond does require a person to sign a bail bond agreement. This is a contractual agreement that is legally binding. If a defendant fails to appear for court or disobeys any bond conditions, their bail bond can be revoked, and the person who signed the contract is legally liable for paying the full bond amount back to the bail agent.
How Much Does a Bail Bond Cost?
The cost of a bail bond depends on the defendant’s bond amount. If a person’s bond is set at $5,000, the cost of a bail bond would be different from someone who has a bond set at $1000. Bail bond companies charge a set percentage that is state regulated. These range between 10 and 15 percent. Some bail bond companies can charge lower percentage rates if the laws allow it in their state.
Do I Get My Money Back for a Bail Bond?
Unlike paying the full cash amount to the court for a release from jail, you do not get your cash back once your case is over when you obtain a bail bond. You pay a percentage of your total bond amount, which is non-refundable. If the bond is $1000, and the rate is 10%, you would pay a non-refundable fee of $100 for a bail bond.
Can I Leave the State on Bond?
One of the primary conditions of a bail bond contract is that the defendant cannot leave the state. They must also abide by all other set conditions, by the bail bond contract and the courts. This includes refraining from drug and alcohol use, obeying all laws, and appearing for all mandatory court hearings.
Which Types of Collateral Do Bail Bondsmen Accept?
Bail bond companies prefer cash, but they sometimes accept collateral in exchange for their services as well. Commonly accepted collateral in the bail bonds industry include:
• Real estate
• Bank accounts
• Credit cards
• Personal credit