Being arrested is one of the most unpleasant experiences ever. No matter what the charges are against the defendant, the accused wants to be released from jail. If asked, most people would agree that legal terminology makes the arrest much scarier than it actually is.
Here is a quick guide that will help you understand what bail bonds are and what the process is like.
What is a bail bond?
A bail bond is a kind of surety – as if it were an insurance policy – that enables an accused individual to come out of jail or prison after bail has been posted with the courts.
How much is bail? (Mandatory Fees)
The cost of a Secure bail (Surety) is 10% of the bail. On a secure bail we are allow to take 5% down. Note that each state sets their rates and the rates are non-negotiable.
The cost of a Cash bail is 20% to 30% we charge 20%
There are no hidden fees or taxes for a bail bond. By example, if the bail is set at $25,000, then the fee charged is $2500, if the same bail is a cash bail the fee is $5000, this is set by law.
§ 4347 Collections and charges permitted. (a)Surety bail bond rates are subject to the provisions of Chapter 25 of this title.
(b)It is unlawful for a bail agent to execute a bail bond without charging and collecting a premium or other charge therefor, and the premium rate or other charge may not exceed or be less than the premium rate as filed with and approved by the Department. With regard to any surety bail bond in excess of $1,000, the total filed premium for a surety bail bond shall be at least 5% and not more than 10%. It shall be unlawful for a bail agent to post a surety bail bond without first charging and receiving at least 5% of the surety bail bond amount, and entering into a written contract signed by the parties containing all terms and conditions of the bond.
(c)It is unlawful for any surety bail agent to charge any administrative fee, service charge, company or agent fee or the like not filed and approved pursuant to Chapter 25 of this title.
(d)The bond may contain provisions to reimburse the bail agent personally, or permit the bail agent to have a right of action against the defendant or any indemnitor, for actual expenses incurred in good faith, by reason of misrepresentation, fraud or breach by the defendant or any indemnitor of any of the terms of the written agreement under which and pursuant to which the undertaking of bail or bail bond was written. If there is no written agreement, or an incomplete writing, the bail agent may seek enforcement of such legal or equitable rights against the defendant and any of the defendant’s indemnitors as may be permitted by law. Such reimbursement or right of action may not exceed the principal sum of the bond or undertaking, plus any reasonable expenses that may be verified by receipt in a total amount of not more than the principal sum of the bond or undertaking, incurred in good faith by the bail agent, its agents, licensees and employees by reason of the defendant’s or indemnitor’s breach.
(e)Property bail agents, in addition to the requirements set forth in this section, shall not be permitted to issue a bond without first obtaining the approval of their charge or commission schedule from the Department. Likewise, any change or modification to the approved charge or commission shall be submitted to the Department for approval prior to any use thereof. Property bail agents shall be required to maintain a written disclosure statement approved by the Department, of their approved charges or commissions and shall provide a copy of said written disclosure to every prospective client prior to accepting the payment for the bond from the prospective client. It shall be unlawful for any property bail agent to charge any administrative fee, service charge, company or agent fee or the like not filed and approved by the Commissioner.
(f)The total charges or commissions for a cash bail may not be less than 20% or more than 30% of the bail amount posted by the property bail agent. It shall be unlawful for a property bail agent to post a bail without first charging and receiving at least 20% of the cash bail amount, and entering into a written contract signed by the parties containing all terms and conditions of the bond. (g)All written contracts and other documents related to a bail bond or cash bail shall be maintained by the bail agent in accordance with the record keeping requirements in § 4341 of this title.
What does a bail bondsman do?
A bail bondsman is a certified legal professional who is hired to act on behalf of the defendant released from jail or court custody through the use of a surety bond. Since many people are unable (or unwilling) to come up with the full amount requested by the court, it is common for people to hire a professional bail bondsman. The agent is licensed by the state and is required to pass and exam, as well as a thorough background investigation. The law strictly prohibits any bail agent from giving legal advice.
What is a bail hearing?
This is the first type of hearing that generally takes place after the arrest. It is then when the judge presents the charges and sets the amount for bail.
What happens after a person is arrested?
The arresting law enforcement agency takes the defendant into custody where a number of things can happen. Most commonly:
- The defendant is released. No charges filed.
- The defendant is released on his/her own recognizance. (O.R.)
- The defendant is release on a bail bond.
- The defendant remains in custody (jail) until his/her arraignment before the court.
Do I have to use a bail agent to get someone out of jail?
What are my options? No, while most state have similar laws, you should call and discuss your situation with one of our trained underwriters. Some of the options available are:
- Pay the full cash bail directly to the court in the form of cash, cashier’s check or money order.
What happens after the defendant is released on bail?
* Arraignment. The arraignment is usually the first court appearance. It is a good idea to bring an attorney if he or she has one. The defendant will be asked to enter a plea.
* Plea. The defendant will be given three options for a plea. A) Guilty, B) Not Guilty, C) No Contest (nolle contendre) A plea of No Contest is the same as a guilty plea, but the defendant does not admit civil liability, the defendant should never enter any plea without speaking with an attorney first.
* Multiple Appearances. After the arraignment, the defendant will be given another appearance date. Please make sure that the defendant makes all appearances. The defendant may want to consult with an attorney. There are many attorney referral services available through the court.
Do I need an attorney?
What about the public defender?
At the first court appearance (arraignment), the defendant will be asked if he or she can afford an attorney. If the person says no, a public defender will be appointed before the hearing.
When is the court date?
The appearance date may not have been available at the time you met with your bail agent. The defendant will be given appearance information upon release. If there are questions about a court date, please call 302-373-3366.
Will I get my money back?
Only when you deposit the entire amount of the bail with the jail or court, you will receive the entire amount back after the bail is no longer required or is “exonerated”. Sometimes the court will keep a portion of the money for fines or court costs, but in most cases your permission is required. However in the case when you use a bail bond company, the money you pay as bail bond premium, it is nonrefundable.
What happens if the defendant is late or misses the court date?
THIS SHOULD BE AVOIDED. The court may look upon the defendant’s failure to appear as a willful act. If this happens, the court may issue a warrant and the defendant may be subject to arrest! Under some conditions, we may be able to contact the court and “reassume” the liability of the bond. If you know that the defendant is going to be late or delayed for court, call the court immediately. If you can’t find the telephone number, call us at 302-373-3366, and we may be able to help locating the number for you.
When collateral is required to guarantee the bond, how do I get it back?
Most bonds through Your Freedom Bail Bonds require only a signature by an verified employed signer as collateral. If collateral is taken, a copy of the “exoneration” is required to notify us that you are no longer responsible for the bond. Once we receive the exoneration, we can return your collateral.