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How to Post Bail

Bail Bonds

Once a defendant is arrested, he is taken to a holding facility in the jail. The arresting agency then processes the arrest, including, in most cases setting the bail amount and the defendant can then post bail, or pay the determined amount. If the defendant is accused of a particularly heinous crime or, in some states, is a multiple offender, he is not allowed to post bail. The defendant must attend a bond hearing. Until bail is set, the defendant must remain in custody.

Once bail has been set, the defendant will be allowed at least one phone call. If the facility allows only one phone call, the defendant should call a trusted friend or family member to try to arrange to post bail.

The friend or family member will need to provide certain information to the bail bond agencies –the defendant’s full legal name, crime charged with, holding agency and bond amount, or bounty. The bail agency may ask for additional information such as the defendant’s birth date, social security number and other financial questions. If a bail is granted and a bondsman does not wish to write the bond because of risk of flight or other reasons, the friend or family member will need to call other bond agencies to try to get someone to write the bond. If no bail bond agency will write the bond, the cosigner must raise the money to post bail in cash.

Once a bail bond agent agrees to write the bond, the cosigner must complete the appropriate paperwork and pay the bond premium. Bond premiums are generally 10 percent of the total bond. The bondsman then goes to the holding facility to post bail, and have the holding authority complete the bond paperwork. Once signed off on, the defendant is released into the bondsman’s custody. The bondsman will then submit the completed paperwork to the surety company.

The paperwork the cosigner signed is basically a contract guaranteeing that the defendant will appear at all scheduled hearings and trials. If the defendant skips bail and cannot be apprehended, the bond is forfeited and the bondsman will attempt to collect the full amount of the bail bond from the cosigner.

If the defendant attends a bail hearing and the court denies bail, the defendant cannot post bail and get out of jail. He must stay incarcerated until his criminal trial. Bail can be denied for many reasons, including the risk of flight.

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