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All About Bail Bonds


What exactly is bail?

When a person is arrested, typically a monetary value is assigned to the individual that will release them from jail while he or she awaits his or her trial.  This monetary value is assigned by the court.  In some cases, there is a set value that is assigned to the crime, but other factors weigh in on the decision including the person’s criminal history and their likeliness to return to face trial.  The money is then paid to the court in exchange for releasing the defendant from jail until his or her trial.  The actual bail bond refers to the promise that is made between the defendant and the court that the suspected criminal will return.  If the person does not return, it is understood that the bail money is then forfeited.

Where can someone get bail money?

People will sometimes use a surety, a person to help with bail money, when they are awaiting trial.  This can be a friend or family member that helps to front the money required. Often, people will seek out a bail bondsman to assist with bail bonds.  The bail bondsman, or bail agent, will assist with providing the money required for bail.  Typically, they will charge a service fee for their money that is usually 10% more than what the person’s bail is set at.  If the person fails to appear in court though, the money the bail agent has posted is forfeited.  The bondsman then has the authority to hire a bounty hunter to find the defendant and ensure he or she stands trial to collect the bail money lost.

Are there different types of bail bonds?

There are three different types of bail bonds that a court may ask for.  The first is an all cash bond.  This type of bond must be paid up front and is usually the most effective for getting defendants to show up for their trial.  The second type of bond is a surety bond.  This is a bond type that requires a surety to pay in the event the defendant does not show up to face trial.  This type requires the bond agent to guarantee the payment only if the defendant does not appear.  The third type of bond is a property bond.  This type is very similar to a surety bond, but requires the person to place actual property as collateral for payment should the defendant not appear in court.

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