If you or someone you love gets arrested then most likely one of your first thoughts is how to get out. For most, this will entail a bond to be released but you may not have much knowledge about what a bail bond is or how it all works. Well to help explain some of the basics, here is a list of some important things to know about bail bonds and how they work.
Not everyone is offered a bond
The first thing to know about bail bonds is not all defendants will be offered bonds. While most will, there are certain situations where the defendant will not be eligible. This includes any type of issue where there is concern about the safety of the public or to the person themselves. Another reason that bail may be denied is the defendant had already been arrested for this charge and they are in violation of their bond conditions by being re-arrested. There are a few other reasons why bonds may be denied, but it is important to note that for the vast majority, bond will be an option.
There are various factors judges look at to set bond
Now if a judge does offer bond, the next step would be for the judge to decide what to set the bond at. To make this decision, the judge will look at a few different types of criteria. The first is if the defendant has committed a misdemeanor or felony. If the charges are for a misdemeanor then the bond cost will likely be far less or they may even let the defendant be released on personal recognizance. If the charges, however, are more severe than the bond cost will be higher. Other things that the judge will take into account is if the defendant has a previous record and is there any type of flight risk that would make the judge believe that they would not show up to their hearing. These factors will also make a difference in how the costs will be.
There are two types of bonds: surety and cash
Now that you can officially work out a way to be released, there are predominantly two ways in which that happens. One is called a cash bond and the other is called a surety. A cash bond is when the defendant or a loved one pays the full bond amount and when they show up to their hearing they fulfill their promise and eventually down-the-line that bond will be refunded minus any fees or fines. With a surety bond, you are going through a bail bondsman where you will only need to come up with about 10% of the money. With this, you won’t be refunded anything however it is far more accessible to many that can not come up with huge amounts in a very short time.
Not showing up to court will have serious consequences
The final thing to note about bail bonds is that the whole purpose of bail is to assure that the defendant shows up to their court hearing in exchange for release until then. If the defendant does not show then the bond is forfeited and that money will either be kept when it would have been refunded or the bail bondsman will be on the hook and in turn, any co-signers will be financially liable. In addition to this further charges could be added, an arrest warrant established and a much smaller probability of being offered bond again. To sum up, skipping out on a court hearing is a big deal.
All in all, once the ball gets rolling the bond process is very straightforward and there is help along the way and if you or a loved one find yourself in need of a bail bondsman or simply have questions, feel free to get in contact and we would be more than happy to assist!