When someone gets arrested, they must stay in jail until they appear in front of the judge unless they can post the bail bond. Bail is a punitive fee set by the court. The bail amount is set based on the crime, the criminal history of the defendant, and state laws.
Since bail rates are so high, most courts will accept a bond of the bail that permits most low-risk and medium-risk defendants to return home with the understanding that the defendant will appear at their next court date to complete the sentencing.
To get a loved one out of detainment, you may consider borrowing a bond from a bail bond agency. Here are 3 things you should know before you take out a bail bond. Continue reading below.
1. You will assume responsibility for the defendant.
If you are the one who enlists bail bond services, you will be the one responsible for paying the monthly payments and any financial repercussions related to the defendant skipping out on the court — not the defendant.
If your loved one has an especially high bond due to the severity of the charges and/or an extensive criminal history, you may need to put up collateral, such as your car or house. The state can seize the collateral to cover the full cost of the bond if the defendant fails to appear for a court date. If the collateral doesn't cover the entire amount of the bond, the state can come after you for the rest.
2. You will pay for the service.
Generally, when you use a bail bond, you will pay a nonrefundable deposit. You will continue to make monthly payments to cover the rest of the bond (with interest) until the balance is paid off. Furthermore, you won't get the bond back. If you pay the bond in cash, the court will return a portion of the bond to you upon completion of court. When you use a bail bond service, the bond will go back to the bail bond service.
3. Not all states allow bail bonds.
The laws regarding bail bond services vary from state to state. Some states prohibit bail bond services altogether. States that don't allow bail bond services include:
When you need the service, you'll be happy you live in a state where you can get it.
For more information about bail bonds, contact a local bond agency.