The Basics You Need To Understand About Bail Bonds

If you have not had an encounter with the law, it is natural not to know much about the bail bond process. However, if you or a loved one has been arrested, it is time to read up on and understand how the bail bond process works.

Getting Out of Jail

The purpose of bail is to get you out of jail after you have been arrested. Bail is how you secure your release from jail until your trial takes place. This allows you to continue with your life while you are awaiting trial. Although everyone has a right to a speedy trial, the definition of speedy can vary greatly, from a few months to a few years. Posting bail ensures you are not waiting behind bars before a judge or a jury determines if you are innocent or guilty of the crime for which you were arrested.

Setting the Bail Amount

How bail is set varies from one state to the next. In many jurisdictions, there are set pre-determined bail amounts for specific crimes. It is also common practice for the court to look at your individual case and determine what they think your bail should be set at. Generally, the seriousness of the crime and the nature of who was harmed by your crime and how they were harmed, will impact your bail amount. For example, bail for a break-in where no one was present and in which no weapons were used will generally be a lot less expensive than if you robbed a store with a weapon when people were present.

Paying the Bail

Once the bail amount is set, you have the option of paying the bail. You can pay the entire bail amount to the courts. If you don't have the funds to pay the entire bail amount to the courts, that is where a bail bond agency comes in. Bail bond agencies ask you to put up a percentage of your bond amount, as well as pay the bail agency a non-refundable fee, and they will then put up the rest of the bail amount for you. You don't have to put up cash either; you can offer the bail bond company collateral, which can range from jewelry to electronics to deeds to a property.

Getting the Bail Back

In order to get your bail back, you have to meet the conditions of the bail set forth by the court system. The main requirement is that you show up in court, but there may be other requirements based on the crime you committed. For example, if you were arrested for a DUI, you would probably be required not to drink any alcohol or take any drugs and not drive while out on bail. If you fail to meet any of the terms of your bail, it can be revoked, which means you are not getting the money back and if you worked with a bail bond agency, you now owe them the collateral or the full amount of the bond.

If you do follow the conditions, you will get your money back from the courts or the bail bond agency. Remember, the bail bond agency will keep a small fee for their services. Reach out to a bail bond agency for more information.