What is bail?
Bail is the tool that the courts use to make sure that defendant arrives at court for their proceedings when they are supposed to. At the first arrest, bail is set by the judge depending on what crime the defendant has been charged with, and whether the judge considers the defendant to be a “flight risk”.
A defendant is not considered a “flight risk” if he or she:
- Is well established within the community
- Has a job
- Has many family members within the community
Once bail is posted, often times, families or friends cannot afford to pay for bail. At this point they will call a bondsman who will be given some form of collateral so that the defendant will do everything he or she needs to do for the court. The bondsman and the indemnitor will pledge to the court that the defendant will perform all of his or her proper duties.
For the judicial proceedings, if the defendant fulfilled all of his or her responsibilities, the defendant or the indemnitor will only need to pay the bondsman for his fee (that was paid before the proceedings) and not the entire bail. However, if the defendant “skips bail” then the indemnitor will need to pay the entire bail. The defendant will usually do everything that he or she needs to do, so that the indemnitor will not have to pay the entire bail.
How do bail bonds work?
Typically, a bail amount is set by the local court jurisdiction following the arrest of a defendant. This is to allow the defendant to be released from custody until his or her judicial proceedings begin. In many cases, trials can begin weeks or months after an initial arrest. This means that, if not for bail, many people (some of whom might be innocent) would have to wait in jail until that time. This is an issue for many reasons. First, it could present serious financial hardship because the defendant wouldn’t be able to work for that period of time. Beyond that, he or she would be missing out on daily life- family, holidays and other events. Bail money acts as a way to assure the judge and prosecution that the defendant will appear for trial.
A family member, a close friend, or sometimes the defendant will contact a bail agent to arrange for the posting of the bail bond. The family member or friend that is guaranteeing the bond, also known as the indemnitor or co-signer, will complete paperwork and pay the premium, which is a percentage of the bond amount. By signing the paperwork, the indemnitor is guaranteeing that he or she will pay the full amount of the bond if the defendant fails to appear in court.
A judge will usually set the bail amount, taking into account the county schedule and particular details of the case. When you pay a percentage of this, sometimes the bail agent will require collateral to secure the guarantee of the bond and ensure the defendant’s appearance in court. Collateral is anything of value that is pledged to secure the bond, such as cash, property, jewelry, etc. Upon complete resolution of the defendant’s case and payment of all premiums in full, the collateral is returned.
What is a bail bond or surety bond?
A bail bond is the document that is presented to the court to secure the release of a defendant who is in custody, and to ensure the appearance of the defendant at all required court hearings.
What is an indemnitor or guarantor?
An indemnitor or guarantor is an individual, usually a friend or family member of the defendant, who agrees to indemnify the bail agent against a loss.
How does the collateral process work?
Sometimes the bail agent will require collateral to secure the guarantee of the bond and ensure the defendant’s appearance in court. Collateral is anything of value that is pledged to secure the bond, such as cash, property, jewelry, etc. Upon complete resolution of the defendant’s case and payment of all premiums in full, the collateral is returned.
How is bail determined?
A judge or magistrate normally sets the amount of bail for a particular case according to a county bail schedule and the particulars of a case.
How can I pay for a bail bond?
Acceptable forms of payment are typically cash or credit card. In some cases, collateral options may be available as well as payment by check.
At Doc’s Bail Bonds, we have dedicated, hardworking, knowledgeable bail bondsmen that work to get your loved ones out of jail quickly without any complications. We are here to help you throughout the bail process, so that everything is a little bit easier.
(The following block has it’s own page on the site under “Bondsmen”)
What do bondsmen do?
After a friend or relative discovers that a loved one is in jail, they contact our hotline and we connect them with a bondsman. The court establishes the price of bail, and our bondsman pledges that the bond will be paid if the defendant does not appear in court. Once the court agrees to the pledge, then the defendant is released and reunited with his or her family and friends. It is then the duty of the family, friends and bondsmen to make sure that the defendant fulfills all of his or her responsibilities. Throughout the judicial proceedings, the only payment required is for our services not the bail itself.
Our bondsmen know about all bonds including:
- Misdemeanor Bonds
- Felony Bonds
- Federal Bonds
We are available 24/7/365. We are always ready to help you with anything that you may require during the bail process. Give us a call and let us see what we can do for you and your loved one.