Bail Bond

Bail Bond

A bail bond is money that is given to the court by a person arrested of a crime to ensure that they will later appear in court. If the defendant appears in court as required, the court will refund the bail bond. If the defendant fails to appear, the court will keep the bail bond money and issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest. The amount of a bail bond often depends on a number of circumstances such as the nature of the crime allegedly committed and the risk that the defendant will fail to appear in court.

The amount of a bail bond is determined by a judge. A bail bond hearing will occur within the first few days (usually 48 hours) following an arrest. The courts have a bail bond schedule which sets forth the typical bail bond amounts for certain crimes. The eighth amendment of the Constitution requires that the amount of a bail bond not be excessively above the amount required to keep a person from fleeing before a case was completed. In practice, however, a judge may set a high bail for certain crimes, keeping a defendant in jail for the entire duration of the trial.

There are four ways to make bail: cash, a secured bail bond, an unsecured bail bond, and signature or own recognizance (OR). An unsecured (surety) bail bond is where a defendant signs a bond stating their promise to appear before the court. If they fail to do so, they promise to later pay the court an agreed upon bail bond amount. An unsecured bail doesn't require that the money be offered up front. In some cases, a defendant signs a bond agreeing to appear in court on his/her "own recognizance" An "OR" bond does not require that collateral be posted or promised. An OR bail bond is ordered in only very rare circumstances. A secured (property) bail bond requires that the defendant come up with security, such as the title to property, equal in worth to the amount of the bail bond. A cash bail bond is the total amount of the bail offered to the court in cash.

In cases where paying in full is not an option, a bail bond can be purchased to allow a defendant to post bail. A bail bond is purchased from a bail bond seller typically for ten percent of the total amount of the bail bond (federal bonds are more). This bond seller will put up the amount of your bail bond for this ten percent service fee. If you appear in court as required, the ten percent paid goes to the bail bond seller for the risk s/he took to post your bail bond money.

A bail bond service will also require that an indemnitor guarantee that s/he will pay the full amount of the bail bond if the defendant fails to show up in court. The indemnitor is often a family member or other kin. If you fail to appear, you will automatically forfeit that ten percent payment, have a warrant out for your arrest, and still be required to pay the full amount of the bail bond.

A bail bond (cash or property) will be refunded to the defendant after they have upheld their duty to appear in court as required once the case is complete and the final order is entered. If you have questions or seek legal help in a bail bond case, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced legal professional in your area who can protect your legal interests.

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