A criminal arrest can pose an expense that many people find difficult to afford. Not only do they lose their freedom when they are booked into jail. They also incur the cost of bailing themselves out of jail.
When you lack the cash in your bank account to put up your own bail, you could still be released after hiring a bail bondsman to pay this money for you. You can decide if working with a bail bonds service is in your own best interests by learning what bail and bonds are and at what cost you can obtain them for your legal situation.
Bail Versus Bonds
Before you call a bonds service, you need to know the difference between bail and bond. Bail is a surety that a defendant gives to the court in exchange for his or her release from jail.
It is not a punishment that an arraignment judge inflicts on the defendant. Rather, it is a way of securing an arrested person’s agreement to follow through with all of the requirements of his or her criminal case.
According to the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, bail cannot be excessive. However, excessive is a subjective term that is left to the definition of every arraignment judge.
Bail is paid with the promise that the person will show up to all of his or her court appearances. If the person does not show up to court as promised, the court gets to keep the bail that he or she paid and also issues a warrant for that person’s arrest for failure to appear.
A bond is a sum of money that is paid on behalf of the defendant, usually by a bonds agency. The bonds agent secures 10 percent of the sum from the client. He or she then secures the rest of the bail by having the defendant put up some sort of collateral like a home or car.
The most common types of bonds are:
<li>Public that is paid to the state</li>
<li>Private that is 10 percent of a bail amount</li>
<li>Surety that must be paid by a bail bond agent</li>
<li>Signature, also called released on recognizance</li>
<li>Cash, which cannot be secured with collateral</li>
The agent pays the bond to the court and guarantees that the person will show up for all future appearances. He or she also promises that if the defendant absconds while out on bond that the remainder of the bail will be paid in full.
If the bond client does not appear in court, his or her bond will be dissolved, and the collateral that he or she put up will be sold to satisfy the rest of the bail that must be paid. The bond agent also asks the court for a warrant for the client’s arrest for absconding.
What is a Bail Bondsman?
A bail bondsman is a person, agency or corporation that serves as a surety between the defendant and the court. The bondsman pledges either money or property like a car or house to the court that the bonds client will make all of his or her future appearances in court. The agent also promises that the full amount of bail will be paid if the client skips out on bail or fails to show up in court.
Bondsmen are nearly always found in the U.S. and not in any other country other than the Phillipines. Most of the other countries outlaw any type of bounty hunting. Bondsmen work in every state in the U.S. and typically undergo an extensive amount of training before being hired in their official capacity.
However, only 32 states require bonds agents to be trained and licensed. These states also require that agents pass extensive background checks and submit to regulations for their industry. Eighteen states require no formal training or licensing and offer little if any regulation of bondsmen.
American bail bondsmen are regulated by governed by organizations like the Professional Bail Agents of the U.S. and the American Bail Coalition. They work closely with law enforcement in every state and also have close connections with officers of the courts including judges and lawyers.
Bail bond agents typically work around-the-clock and are available seven days a week. Bail agencies have someone on call on the weekends and holidays. Depending on the jurisdiction in which a defendant is arrested, he or she could have bail or a bond posted after hours, on the weekend, on holidays and during other times when other businesses are closed.
Finding a Bonds Service
When you are in need of a bail bond, you want to know how to find bail bonds near me. You can use a variety of tactics for finding a bail bondsman near me in your local area. These methods can guide you to a bail service that can provide the money that you need to get yourself or someone that you love out of jail.
Your first option for finding bail bonds near me is to ask law enforcement officers for their advice. Many LEOs work closely with bail bondsmen. They know what agencies are reliable and worth the money that you will pay and what ones should be avoided at all costs.
You can also ask your defense attorney for advice about finding a bail bondsman near me. Lawyers also work closely with bail bond agents and know what ones can provide fast and timely services and which ones have left clients less than satisfied with their services in the past.
Finally, you can read online reviews of bail bond agencies in your area. You want to contact those that have good reviews from verified clients. You need to avoid those agencies that offer cheap rates or make unrealistic promises. It could indicate a lack of experience or poor service for clients.
A bail bond agent can provide you with the money that you need to get out of jail. This service is generally available 24 hours a day every day of the week. You can post your bail or bond and be released from police custody quickly.