Unless you have dealt with the system before, the bail bonds process may be overwhelming and an overall mystery to most. There are some assumptions that are made that are actually a bit different from reality. Here is a quick overview.
What bail actually is
If you don’t know, bail is a monetary amount that a judge will determine based on a past record, severity of the crime and a few other qualifications. If some crimes are considered severe enough or there is an increased flight risk for some reason, then it may be considered an unbailable offense and no bond will be granted. In most cases however, the bond will be set and the defendant can either pay in full which is considered a cash bond or can get in contact with a bail bondsman in which case you would only need 10% down for release. In exchange for this release, you are agreeing to show up for your scheduled court date or the bond will be forfeited and there will be a warrant for your arrest.
Bonds are not available in all states
Though in Colorado this is not an issue, there are actually several states including California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Washington DC and Illinois that don’t allow for bail bonds agents. If a loved one lives in one of these states then bond may still be granted, but the entire bond will need to be paid in full for the defendant to be released, otherwise, they will just remain detained until their hearing.
Even if you can afford it, paying cash bond may not always be in your best interest
If you are fortunate enough to have the full cash bond amount on hand for your release, it still may be a better option to go with a bail bondsman. This is because if the bond amount will be taking up the majority of your cash resources, it will leave little left for other needs such as daily living or other fees and services that can occur during an arrest. When you go with a bail bondsman, you only need to come up with 10% which leaves your reserves in much better standing. Another reason why a bail bondsman can be better is just because it can take months for your bond payment to be returned after a hearing so having large amounts of cash tied up for so long can be difficult.
Making the court appearance can just be the beginning
When being released, most would assume that once you show up to your hearing then you have fulfilled your bail conditions. However, in many cases, this is just the start. You may actually have to appear to many court dates and there may also be certain drug and counseling courses you have to complete as well as abiding by certain traveling restrictions. All these things will be discussed and explained before release but is important to know.
In conclusion, with bail bonds, there is more than meets the eye but when you understand how it all works, it can save you a lot of time and stress.