No one wants to spend time in jail. Bail bonds can be used to secure someone's release from jail after an arrest. Getting out on bail allows you to continue working and engaging with friends and family while you work toward a resolution of your legal case. A good understanding of bail bonds will be helpful if you find yourself needing to use these types of bonds in the future.
1. Bail Isn't Guaranteed
You must keep in mind that bail isn't a guarantee for all individuals who are arrested. Many minor offenses have a predetermined bail schedule that is set by law. This allows people charged with these crimes to automatically receive a bail amount without waiting to see a judge.
Major crimes require the evaluation of a judge before bail is set. The judge will look at the facts of the arrest, the defendant's risk of fleeing, and other factors before setting a bail amount. Sometimes bail is denied and the defendant is required to stay in jail until their case is adjudicated.
When you understand how bail amounts are set, you will be able to identify when a bail bond can be used to secure your freedom.
2. You Only Pay a Percentage
One of the major benefits associated with using a bail bond is the ability to secure your release without having to pay the full amount of your bail. A bail bondsman puts up the full bail amount with the court. In exchange, you pay a percentage of the bail total to the bondsman.
The maximum percentage a bondsman can charge is regulated by state law, but the rate may vary from one bondsman to another. Once you meet the conditions of your bail, a full refund is given to the bail bondsman.
The percentage that you pay is kept by the bondsman as a fee for posting your bail.
3. Collateral Can Be Used
If money is an issue when you are trying to secure your release from jail, you may be able to work with your bail bondsman to post collateral that will secure your bond.
Collateral can be anything of value. You can use real estate, a vehicle, or jewelry as collateral for a bail bond.
A lien is placed on these items by the bondsman in exchange for posting your bail. Once you repay the percentage you owe, the lien is removed. If you don't repay the bondsman, your collateral can be seized.