When a person is arrested on suspicion of a criminal offense, that individual will be taken by police officers to jail for booking. During this process, the person will have his or her mugshot taken, his or her fingerprints recorded, and asked for a statement.
While waiting for his or her day in court, the person will be held in jail. However, he or she can be released on bail.
What is Bail?
Bail is considered a financial arrangement for a defendant’s release from jail while awaiting trial, which is set up by a bail bonding agency. An agency will arrange a defendant’s release with the court in exchange for money or collateral such as assets or a bond. The court determines the monetary value of the bail.
A bond is a guarantee that the full bail amount will be paid. However, some courts will accept either the full bond or a 10% cash down payment for a suspect’s release.
The bail agency is then responsible for making sure that the defendant arrives in court on the day of his or her trial. If the person fails to show up in court, then the bail agency may hire a bounty hunter to track the defendant down.
Bonds & Bondsman
While working with a bail bonding agency, when a bail bondsman puts up a fee for a suspect’s release on bail, the bondsman charges a fee of typically 10% of the amount of actual bail fee. Remember, this initial fee is often nonrefundable, even if the case is dismissed entirely.
The bondsman will take out a security against a defendant’s assets to cover the bail amount. If the defendant does not possess enough assets, then the bondsman might take out securities against those that are willing to help, such as friends and relatives. When a security is taken out, a bondsman typically needs that 10% cash payment, as well as the mortgage on a person’s home that would equal to the full amount of the bail bond money owed.
If a defendant fails to show up in court on trial day, not only can the bondsman hire a bounty hunter to track the person down, but the bondsman also has a right to sue the defendant for money that was given to the court for the defendant’s bail. Furthermore, the bail bond agency may recover any unpaid funds by claiming assets that were owned by the defendant or those individuals that signed a contract to financially assist the defendant.