If you or a loved one has been arrested, obtaining a licensed bail bond may be your best option for securing a quick release from jail. Bail bonds are essentially a type of insurance policy that guarantees the full bail amount will be paid to the court if the defendant fails to show up for their court date. In this article, learn about how licensed bail bonds work, the process of obtaining one, and what you need to know before signing a bail bond contract.
What Is a Licensed Bail Bond?
A licensed bail bond is a contract between a bail bondsman and the court that guarantees the full bail amount will be paid if the defendant fails to appear in court. The bail bondsman charges a non-refundable fee, typically a small percentage of the bail amount, for providing this service. For example, if the bail amount is set at $10,000, the bail bondsman could charge a $1,000 fee.
How Does the Bail Bond Process Work?
When someone is arrested and taken to jail, they will typically have a bail amount set by a judge. If they are unable to pay the full bail amount, they may contact a licensed bail bondsman to obtain a bail bond. The bail bondsman will typically require the defendant to provide some form of collateral, such as a car or property, to secure the bond. The bail bondsman will then pay the full bail amount to the court on behalf of the defendant.
Once the defendant is released from jail, they are required to attend all scheduled court appearances. If they fail to appear in court, the bail bondsman has the right to locate and return the defendant to custody. If the defendant cannot be located, the bail bondsman may be required to pay the full bail amount to the court.
What You Need to Know Before Obtaining a Bail Bond
Before obtaining a bail bond, it is important to understand the terms of the contract and the potential risks involved. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Non-Refundable Fee: The fee paid to the bail bondsman is non-refundable, even if the defendant is found not guilty or the charges are dropped.
Collateral: The bail bondsman will typically require some form of collateral to secure the bond. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bondsman may sell the collateral to cover the cost of the bond.
Court Appearance: The defendant is required to attend all scheduled court appearances. If they fail to appear, the bail bondsman may be required to locate and return the defendant to custody.
Time Limit: The bail bond will typically have a time limit, usually until the case is resolved in court. If the defendant fails to appear in court within the time limit, the bail bond may be forfeited and the defendant may be returned to custody.
Licensed bail bonds can be a valuable resource for those who are unable to pay the full bail amount. However, it is important to understand the terms of the contract and the potential risks involved before signing on the dotted line. If you or a loved one is in need of a licensed bail bond, be sure to work with a reputable and experienced bail bondsman to ensure a smooth and successful process.