The Essential Information About Bail Bonds

Finance & Money Blog

If you are arrested as a suspect of a crime, there is the possibility that you can be released until your court date by paying bail. Since there can be many people in the justice system awaiting their court date, it can take a while to get to trial. Bail allows people to have temporary freedom until they need to be in court. If you are unfamiliar with what bail is, here is the essential information that you need to know.

What's Bail?

Bail is essentially a deposit that you pay to the courts as collateral to get released while your case is still undecided, and it is typically a specific amount of cash. Property deeds can sometimes be used as collateral (at the judge's discretion), but only if the equity in the property meets or exceeds the amount of the bail

Showing up for your court date allows you to get your collateral back, so your temporary freedom does not cost you anything as long as you return to court. This is true even if you are found guilty of the crime you are accused of. Jumping bail, or not showing up for your court date, can result in losing the collateral that you gave.

How Is Bail Obtained?

The money for bail does not need to come from your personal bank account. You can have a friend or family member pay the bail amount for you, if necessary. You can also use a bondsman to receive the money in the form of a bail bond. A bondsman may require collateral, but they also charge interest on this short-term loan.

How Do Bail Bonds Work?

The bail bonds business is risky. Since bondmen are dealing with people that are accused of crimes, they charge enough money that they can afford to cover their losses if someone occasionally skips out on court. However, each state has their own laws regarding how much a bondsman is allows to make from a bail bond. For example, Alabama has a 10% mandated premium on bail bonds, while a state like Colorado has a 15% maximum premium. This helps keep the fees reasonable.

Unfortunately, if you do not show up to court, the bondsman will lose the entire bail bond, which means that they will aim to collect through the collateral that you left in exchange for their bond. They can also receive their bail bond back by tracking you down and returning you to the police. 

If you are in need of bail and do not have the cash on hand, contact a local bondsman for help getting you the money you need.


9 May 2016

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