Do You Understand How Bail Bonds Work?
The bail system is a judiciary measure in which a defendant can be released until their trial in exchange for a particular sum of money. Those sums are bound by a minimum and maximum limit, and in quite a few states, the judge is who sets the total.
The Bail Is Set By The Judge
Most judges are going to see each case individually. If you apply to get bail, you must remember that the defendant still has to get to their trial, but they are going to be released until the trial if a particular sum of money gets paid.
Something interesting about bail is that it relates significantly to the nature of the individual case. As such, the judge has discretion on what is the proper approach regarding the specific circumstances. If the accusation is more dangerous, then the bail is going to be higher.
There are different laws in every state, and federal laws might also apply in certain circumstances. Each state’s application process for bail might also be different. That’s why you need to make sure you’re informed about the requirements of your particular state.
Bail Isn’t Equal To Freedom
One aspect of bail that defendants, their family, and friends should all understand is that even when a bail sum is paid, that doesn’t mean the defendant has complete freedom. The defendant still has to show up to court at the specified date and time, although until that time comes, they are allowed to walk away from their detention. It’s also crucial to understand that there are severe penalties from missing a court date which can lead to much more significant issues for defendants, and as such, they need to know the risks and responsibilities involved with being released on bail.
Does The Bail System Prove Fair Or Perfect?
Ethics are always a concern regarding bail. The system isn’t present in many nations around the globe, and it does have downsides, especially considering how many folks have wound up escaping the clutches of the judiciary system just by posting bail. However, it’s also a source of tax revenue for governments of various levels that need resources to re-invest into the system.
Bail is not a perfect thing, but it does bring states, cities, and counties quick income. It’s also advantageous for defendants who can get better prepared for their case while they have some liberty. Additionally, it lets a defendant enjoy better communication with their attorney, so you can know that a good case is being made for someone you care about. It’s also essential to realize that those out on bail usually wind up seeing better results as compared to those that remain in custody. Perhaps most crucial is that fact that every bail case gets judged by itself, and this is why following every instruction of a judge is very important. A judge might also make some suggestions or recommendations, and those need to be considered strongly too. Didn’t Do It Bail Bonds has more information about this.
The Kinds Of Bail
Most people mentally associate bail as being related to a specific sum or amount of cash. The general notion is that if you’ve been arrested but have enough money to make bail, then you’re able to get out of being in jail. However, bail is typically more complicated than that, mainly if the bail amount is a significant number.
In most jurisdictions, there are some kinds of bail available. While not all types of bail are available in all circumstances or locations, and some of them are used more so than others, defendants can expect to see or hear about more than one of the following kinds of bail:
1) Cash Bonds
In a lot of circumstances, law enforcement won’t release an arrestee with just a simple citation but only after booking, so long as the arrestee pays a cash bond. When a defendant doesn’t have enough money, somebody else can pay the defendant’s bail on their behalf.
The amount of the cash bond gets determined by a local or state bail schedule or by the court at a bail hearing. So long as whoever is paying has the money to cover the bond amount in full, the defendant gets released from police custody.
2) Signature Or Unsecured Bond:
An unsecured bond is also sometimes known as a signature bond; by either name, it would apply after a court holds a specific bond hearing and dictates the bail amount, but it won’t require a defendant to pay that amount to get released. This is a kind of bond that’s similar to either a release and citation or an OR bond. Rather than paying cash to get released, the defendant simply signs an agreement that states if they don’t show up at their required court appointments, then they’ll have to surrender the amount of the bail.
3) Property Or Secured Bond:
A secured bond might also be called a property bond, and it’s a kind of bail where the defendant provides the court system a security interest in a property that is equal to what the total bail amount is worth. A security interest is a legal right to take or possess a specific piece of property which is given by the owner of the property over to the secured party.
For instance, if you buy a car with a car loan, your lender is giving you the money to purchase the vehicle. In exchange for that money, you are giving the lender a security interest in your vehicle. You and your lender both agree that should you ever fail to repay your loan per the agreed-upon terms; then the lender can repossess the collateral, in this case, a car, and then sell it so they can recover whatever money you still owe them. It’s the same thing when a homeowner fails to keep up with their mortgage and the bank forecloses on the home involved. Both of these circumstances are common kinds of security interests.
So, if a defendant gets a secured property bond, that means that they or another bond payer is giving a security interest in a particular piece of property as a kind of bail to the court. If the defendant fails to appear later at court, then the court can order the property used as collateral seized to recover the bail that is unpaid.
4) Surety Or Bail Bond:
Bail bonds are forms of bail payment that bail bond agents provide on behalf of a defendant. Bail bond agents are also called bondsmen, and they’re professionals who pay a bond for criminal defendants. If a defendant uses a bondsman, they pay their agent a fee and the agent agrees to act as their surety, letting the court know that they, as bondsmen, will pay for full bond amounts for defendants that don’t show up in court.
Bail bond agents can make their money by collecting fees from those looking to be bailed out. That fee is typically 10 to 15 percent of the bail amount. So, when a court sets bail at $20,000, then the defendant or someone working on their behalf can pay a bondsman $2,000 for the bondsman to be the defendant’s surety.
Like property and secured bonds, bail bond agents are usually going to make paying party, or the defendant comes up with some security or collateral against their bond. They’ll also require that a defendant sign a legally binding contract covering the terms of their agreement, like a requirement that the defendant physically hands over valuable items the bond agent might sell to recover their bond amount if the defendant doesn’t show up. Likewise, the bond agent might dictate that the defendant or concerned party sign over a security interest in a home, car, or other property that might be repossessed should the defendant not show up in court.