What is Bail?

Bail bonds are very useful methods to save a great deal of hassle when a person has been charged with a crime. Some states and counties may have slight variations on the law, but the general idea is the same. When a person is charged with a crime and brought before the court, they are judged on various criteria. When combined with the crime and circumstances, they are either released without bail, a bail amount is set, or there are denied bail.

Once that amount has been determined, the bail can be paid as a guarantee that the person will appear in court. If the person meets all the court date requirements, the bail is returned. If the person does not, then the bail is forfeited to the courts, and that money is never returned. There are also a few other rules that can cost a person their bail money. If a person on bail is arrested while awaiting trial, the bail is forfeited.

Why Would I Need a Bail Bonding Company?

Once the bail amount has been determined, there are a few options. Let’s say that the bail is set at $10,000 – if the full bail amount is paid and the person meets the court dates, then the full amount is returned. If the money is available and the person can be trusted, this is the best option, and there’s no money lost in the process.

Most people do not have the entire amount in cash, as most bail amounts are rather high. This is where a bail bondsman comes into the picture. A percentage of the bail amount is given to the bonding agent; enough to get the person out of jail. No matter what, this money is never returned. The idea is that the bondsman will take care of the full bond amount with the court and then makes sure that that person makes their court date. Once all is said and done, the bondsman keeps a percentage as their fee. In most places it’s ten percent. So, a bail bondsman that makes the right choices about who to bond and who to leave alone, can make a good amount of money. In reality, most bondsman have gone through a long process to be licensed and they only pay the court the ten percent, but that is not important.

Types of Bail Bonds

A bondsman is taking the word of a person that they can be trusted to be bonded out of jail. At a bare minimum a lot of information is taken so that the bondsman can track the person down if something goes wrong or if they skip their court date. In other cases, property can be used as collateral, and this is called a property bond, which is a type of surety bond. A surety bond uses property and/or any other device to insure the bond.

In the end, if a person has met all the requirements, retrieving the bail amount can be different from county to county and state to state. The best place to start reading is the court papers. Make sure that, whether it is a bond or full bail, a person can be trusted before any money is given out.

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