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What is the Bail Bonds Process?

Bail Bonds

The bail bonds process, other than someone having to be arrested, is pretty straightforward, and can be accomplished in a short period of time.

Once someone has been arrested and processed into the system, bail is set in one of two ways. Either the accused has to wait to appear before a judge (the arraignment stage), who will set bond based on the nature of the crime, and the guidelines established by local law. Another way that bail is established, which is much faster, is many jurisdictions have a standing bail schedule available for certain kinds of infractions. This speeds the process up, and allows those arrested to be released more quickly than if they have to wait to see a judge. Once the bail is paid, a court date will be assigned, and the defendant must appear as demanded.

Getting Bail

Once the amount of bail is set, defendants can pay the assigned amount. The most familiar method of payment in the bail bonds process is the use of a bail bond agency. The agency is contacted, and for a fee established by the state’s insurance board, a bail bond agent will pay the bail (this is known as a surety bond). The defendant, even though he or she has been released, is required to appear in court at the appointed time, or will be considered to have “jumped bail” and an arrest warrant issued.

Cost of bail

Except for a cash bond, the fee for having a bail bond service pay the bail is ten percent of the total bail amount. In addition, there may be a small processing fee attached. When the defendant appears in court, the amount paid is returned to the bail bond agency, which will be kept as a fee for the service.

If the defendant pays the bail – either the full amount, or ten percent – that amount is refunded upon appearance in court. If the defendant fails to appear, the money if forfeited and a warrant issued.

Types of bail

Besides cash only bail and surety bonds, there may also be a ten percent bond available. This arrangement is found in states that do not permit commercial bail agencies. It operates in the same fashion as the surety bond, except that when the defendant appears as directed, the amount is returned to him or her.

The bail bonds process, while quite troublesome because of why it is necessary, is straightforward and easy to accomplish. All it involves is keeping a level head, and paying attention to the type of bond required, being able to pay the amount required, and then showing up in court.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. If legal guidance and assistance are needed, contact a local attorney for help.

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