Question: How to I bail someone out of jail?
Answer: You have a couple of options. First, you can choose to pay the full amount of the bail, to the court. Second, you can obtain a Bail Bond for about 10% of that amount. Think of the bond as a promise to make all required court appearances. Should the defendant fail to appear in court, any collaterals provided as surety are forfeit.
Question: What exactly is a bail bond?
Answer: When someone is arrested, they are held in custody until their trial, unless the bail, set by the court, is paid. Bail Bonds are the easiest way to post bail. When a Bond is posted, the bonding company makes a guarantee that the defendant will make all necessary appearances in court, and the time and place required. Should the defendant fail to make any required court appearance, the bond amount becomes payable, and is forfeit. Any collateral used to secure the bond is also forfeit.
Question: Why do the courts set bail? What purpose does it serve?
Answer: Courts set bail, when they feel the risk of flight is low, to allow people to continue to their everyday lives, until their hearing. The primary purpose is to provide a financial incentive for the defendant to make all required court appearances.
Question: Is a court legally required to allow release on bail?
Answer: While the constitution recognizes bail, to the extent of prohibiting excessive amount, it in no way provides you with the right to release on bail. Bail is at the discretion of the court. Should the court feel the risk of flight is high, bail can be denied.
Question: How high can bail be set by the court?
Answer: The U.S. Constitution’s 8th amendment requires that bail not be excessive. This is to ensure that no government agency uses it as a means to raise money for the government, or as a means of punishment for being suspected of committing a crime. The entire purpose of bail, is to allow people the freedom to continue their lives until such a time as they are actually convicted of a crime. The amount of bail should be no more than that required to provide incentive for the person to appear at any required court appearances.
Question: What charges can I expect when obtaining a bail bond?
Answer: The normal cost associated with obtaining a bail bond is 10% of the bail amount, as set by the court, plus any actual, necessary and reasonable expenses that are incurred.
Question: When signing a bail bond contract, what am I actually agreeing to?
Answer: You are agreeing to the following…
• Pay the bond premium.
• Provide any necessary collateral.
• Pay any actual, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by the bond agent on your behalf. This may include…
o Costs associated with retrieving a defendant should they flee prosecution while out on bail.
o Excess travel expenses, should you require the bond agent to travel outside their normal area of operation.
o Reimbursement for long distance calls.
o Payment of the complete bond amount, should the defendant fail to appear at a required court appearance.
o Any additional attorney’s fees and/or court costs.
• Ensure that the bond agent receives any updated information, such as change of address or employment, of the defendant or any other party to the agreement.
• Help the bond agent locate the defendant, should the defendant attempt to flee to avoid prosecution.
Question: What exactly will you do for me?
Answer: We help you get your family member, or friend out of jail, until they have their trial. This allows the defendant to continue their life until the court case has been resolved. The bond agent will provide the following…
• Copies of any and all signed documents, along with any receipts.
• Information pertaining to any fees or costs required by the court.
• Any necessary appearances in court regarding the bail bond, whenever an appearance is necessary. Should this be necessary, some additional expenses may apply, such as obtaining legal counsel.
• Help locating a defendant that has chosen to flee to avoid prosecution.
• The return of any collateral, in a timely fashion, once the bond has been exonerated.
• Any information they have pertaining to the status of the bond, and/or any changes in assigned court dates that the bond agent is aware of.
Question: What happens if the courts reduce the amount of bail after the bond is purchased?
Answer: Should the courts decide on a reduction in the amount of bail, the agreement will be amended to show the reduced amount. A reduction in bail doesn’t result in any refund of premiums paid, however, it may result in partially returning collateral. In the case of a reduction, any annual renewals will be based on the reduced amount.
Question: How long is my bond good for?
Answer: It is good for however long the case that is bonded runs. However, the agreement may also require “renewal” annually. Once paid, bond premiums are not refundable.
© 2015 ABC Bail Bonds.