All You Need To Know About Bail Bonds

A criminal defendant may get out of jail on bail pending a court hearing. Paying bail sounds simple, but it is not always straightforward. Other than the legal technicalities, one may not be in a position to pay the court bail. So, does it mean that you have to stay in jail? One of the most convenient strategies for getting out of jail is organizing a bail bond and engaging a bondsman. This post provides critical insights on how bail bonds work. 

What Is Bail? 

Bail is a term used in the criminal justice system to describe the situation where a criminal defendant gets released from jail pending the court determination of the case. In most cases, but not all, bail involves the defendant or someone else making a court payment. This money acts as an assurance that the defendant will return to the court for the entire legal process. As such, bail is not a punishment but a method to ensure the criminal defendant attends court hearings without the need for detention. 

What Is a Bail Bond? 

One of the most popular types of bail is a bail bond, also known as a surety bond. A bail bond is an agreement between a criminal defendant and the court that the accused will appear for trial or pay a predetermined amount of money. However, a bail bond involves the payment of bail by a bail bond agent who charges the defendant a fee. In essence, an agent is a business person who specializes in paying bail bonds on behalf of a criminal defendant. 

How Does Bail Bond Work? 

The criminal defendant appears before the court for a bail hearing. Then, the judge set the bail amount at their discretion. The defendant has the choice of paying the full bail amount or arrange for a bail bond. Regarding the bail bond, a bail agent presents a written agreement to the court guaranteeing to pay the bail should the defendant fail to appear on the trial date. The defendant is then released until trial after the delivery of the bail bond.

Typically, the bail bonds agency charges 10% of the bail amount upfront as the service fee. However, the defendant must demonstrate creditworthiness or provide collateral to the bondsman. Most agents accept any valuable property as security, including homes, land, stocks, and cars. If the defendant complies with the bail bond conditions, the agent releases the collateral upon the case conclusion. 

Ultimately, bail can keep you out of jail during the court hearing process. If you value freedom and cannot pay bail in full, you should get a bail bond agency to guarantee payment on your behalf.