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HOW DO BAIL BONDS WORK?
When someone is arrested for a crime, they are taken to the local law enforcement station to be booked. A mug shot, fingerprints, and a statement are taken. The individual has two options after they’re booked and while they wait for their day in court: stay in jail or be released on bail.
Bail is a financial guarantee made by the criminal defendant that the individual will attend their day in court. The bail dollar amount is set by the judge and must be paid in the form of assets, a bond, or cash as insurance that the defendant will not skip their court appearance upon their release from jail. The bail is held by the court and returned should the defendant attend all their appearances. If the defendant fails to comply, they lose the bail amount they paid.
There are two types of bail options:
Bail is a powerful tool for ensuring that the defendant is held accountable before a judge. Failure to appear by the defendant is an expensive mistake.
A person must submit cash to be held by the court until the defendant appears at all the required court cases and until the case is complete. Only when the defendant appears for all their court-ordered appearances will the cash bail be returned.
In a surety bond, a bail bonding agency will post a bond in the full amount of bail to financially guarantee that the defendant will attend their court hearings. The bonding agency will cover the bond using their assets or a surety company.
The bail bonding agency will charge a premium for the service, usually ten percent of the bail amount that the defendant or his/her friends or family must pay. The bonding agency has money invested in the defendant and will see to it that the defendant obeys the court orders.
Where are Bail Bonds Available?
Bail bonds are available in most states but the fees a bonding agency may charge for a bail bond can often be different between two neighboring states. This is because each state sets their own bail bond premium rules.
The premium or service fee a bonding agency charges for their service is often a percentage of the bail that the court has set. These premiums are decided on and regulated by each state’s Department of Insurance. This is the reason why bond premiums vary by state.
Bail bondsmen are an important part of the legal system and offer a unique and highly necessary service. When courts set a bail amount, this figure can be expensive. Six figure amounts are not uncommon. And according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average bail amount for a felony is $55,400 while more than half of misdemeanors in New York city are set at a bail of $1,000 or more.
Many people cannot pay the full cash amount of bail for themselves or their loved ones. The bail bondsman assumes financial responsibility for the bail amount in exchange for a promise from the defendant to uphold the court’s demands. The premium the bonding agency charges the defendant or the defendant’s family covers the money risk a bail bondsman takes when they put their neck on the line on behalf of a defendant.
If you or someone you know needs a bail bond to get them out of jail, here is a rough guide to the fees bonding agencies charge across America.
Some states do not allow bail agencies to offer bail bonds. These no-bail-bond states, in alphabetical order, are:
Illinois Kentucky Maine Massachusetts Nebraska Oregon Wisconsin Washington, DC
The remaining states have statutes allowing agencies to charge bail bond premiums that vary in cost from variable or tiered rates to a certain maximum percentage. States like Hawaii, Alaska, and Delaware do not impose any maximum bail premium. This does not mean that bail bondsmen in these no-maximum premium states can charge sky-high premiums; they are still required by their state to operate professional and reasonably by clearly posting an approved premium that is fair and non-discriminatory.
A Helping Hand
Who We Are / What We Offer
The reality in life is that bad things sometimes happen to good people. We all make mistakes at one time or another. If you or a loved one have been arrested and can’t afford to pay the cash bail amount, let us put down a bail bond on you or your loved one’s behalf.
You have enough to deal with in coping with your own arrest or that of a loved one. Getting a bail bond can be can add to the stress of all that is expected of you during this difficult time.
We aim to make it easier for you by assisting you with your bail needs and questions so that you can focus on the other issues at hand.
We’re here and ready to share our expertise with you through our free, helpful information on the sometimes complicated bail bond process. We’re at your service to connect you with the right, local, bail bond agent conveniently located in your area. Our website is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with helpful answers to many of your questions. You can also reach us by calling us or sending us an email.
We thank you for visiting our website and hope we can supply you with all the tools you need to navigate through this tricky time. Use our information wisely to successfully manage all your bail needs. Feel free to share it with others who may be going through a similar experience.