Have you ever been convicted for a crime, or you know someone who got convicted? Of course, the experience is not that good, especially if you have to spend some days in custody waiting for your trial. To be safe and avoid the inconveniences of staying behind bars waiting for your hearing, you can apply for a bail bond. What is a bail bond? A bail bond is a money or property which secures your release and ensures you attend hearing sessions. It is used to secure the freedom of defendants to be free while waiting for trial. So if you get arrested for a crime or any other thing and don’t want to stay in custody until your trial, you can pay the bond and get your freedom. How can a bond dealer help you with these? Read this article to the end for some information related to bonds.
Who Has the Right to Bail?
Not everyone arrested has the right to bail, and they are not available in all countries. Your region might not be having these services. Bails are only available in some areas and cover individuals charged with non-capital crimes. Rules and regulations safeguard these bails, and you might fail to get such depending on your case. If you are a flight risk or someone dangerous to the public, you may not get bail. Generally, according to the law, anyone should get bail unless certain conditions deny them so. It is the court that states whether you should get bail and the amount of the bail.
How Do Bails Work?
Once arrested for a crime, you will get the hearing date and, if necessary, a bail you need to pay to secure your freedom or remain in custody. Your family and friends should try as much as possible to raise bail to enable you to get out of custody. If not, a third party, known as the bond company, can step up and pay for your bail. So how does the bond company work? According to bond experts from Bail2go.com, the bond company will commit to pay for your bail and secure your freedom, probably at a fee, and ensure you attend the court summons as required. What happens if I don’t attend the court? If you fail to participate in the court sessions as required, the bond company or the family that paid the bail loses the cash or property to the court. The bond company might decide to sue or arrest you for recovering the money or the agreement you made with them. But it’s advisable to attend court sessions as required to avoid inconveniences. However, the court usually gives a grace period where you can go and redeem your image. It might be that there was a flight delay, sickness, or you couldn’t attend the court due to other legal duties.
What Determines the Bail Amount?
There are several factors that a court of law considers in determining your bail amount. Some of these factors include:
- Flight Risk: If you pose more flight risk, your bail might be higher than others. If you have a stricter case and you are a flight risk, the court might deny you bail. The reason is that the culprit might decide to flee from the case. Community connections: If you are someone close to the community or having an enterprise or dwelling in the community, you might have a lower bail than someone who visits once in a while. If you have a present family, the bail gets less.
- Family Obligations: If someone is responsible for their family or community at large, the court might offer lower bail than someone unknown or without family.
- Income and Assets: If you are rich or with considerable income and assets, the court may impose a higher bail than someone who doesn’t have properties or is unemployed. The reason is that you can easily forgo the amount and flee away from the case.
- Criminal and Court History: If you have the worst criminal and court history, your bail will be higher than someone never convicted of a crime. If you have violated bails in the past, getting bail in the current case is also limited. The court might see you as a threat.
- The Seriousness of the Crime: A serious crime will involve a higher bail rate than a minor offense. The court can also decide not to give bail for a crime that has a public interest. Murder charges rarely get bails.
- Public Safety: If a suspect’s release affects public safety or evidence, the court may deny the suspect’s bail. Such happens to individuals convicted of terrorism, murder, or destruction of properties.
Other than the bail amounts, the courts also give the bail conditions to the arrested person, the family, or the bond dealer. These conditions should be followed when a suspect is on bail. Some of the requirements include:
- Pretrial Check-Ins: When on bail, the suspect is supposed to check with the court or officer in charge as required.
- No-Contact Orders: The order restricts the suspect from contacting the witnesses and interfering with the evidence, especially in domestic violence or other serious crimes.
- Employment: The court might require the suspect to continue going to work and, if unemployment, to find a job and provide details of the job.
- Travel Restrictions: Unless specified by the court, the suspects might be restricted to stay in one area until the case is heard and determined. The bail gives a restricted movement.
- Substance Abuse: If a defendant is charged with drug abuse, drinking, smoking in public places, and other substance-related crime, they may get restrictions from using the substances while on bail.
- Firearms Restrictions: The suspect might have to surrender their firearms or not use them while under bail probation. Such happens mostly when the crime relates to firearm misuse.
Types of Bonds
There are several types of bonds that your family or a bond dealer can withstand with you in court. The type of bond required depends on the case, the court, and other related legal reasons. Types of bonds include:
- Cash Bonds: In this type of bond, the family or the bond dealer pays your bail in cash as set by the court. You can also use checks or credit cards. The total needs to be paid before your release.
- Surety Bond: A Surety bond involves only the bond company. This bond requires a third-party company to pay the court if you fail to appear in court for your case. It gives a surety of the same amount needed by the court.
- Property Bond: If you don’t have cash, the court can secure your freedom using any property you are having. It can either be your house, land, motor vehicle or any other related item and must be of the value required by the court.
- Immigration Bail Bond: If you are detained for migration reasons, you could use this bond to secure your release. It works the same as the surety bond, but it’s often higher depending on the crime’s federal nature.
- Federal Bail Bond: If you get accused of federal or an international crime, you may need a federal bond to be free as you wait for your trial. The bond is usually higher, and collateral may be required to support it. Crimes that fall under this bail include kidnapping, fraud, hate crimes, and robbery in another country.
- Citation Release: In this bail, you don’t get behind bars, but you are stated by an arresting officer to attend court sessions. In this type of bond, you don’t get to jail and don’t require any payments. If you fail to participate in the session, it might lead to an arrest. It’s usually for petty crimes.
- Personal Recognizable Release: When you are not a flight risk or someone dangerous to the community, you might be given this bail without any payments as you attend the court sessions. It is usually for individuals with minor crimes.
How to Contact a Bond Dealer and Their Help in Court
When you get arrested, the magistrate will read your charges, and depending on the case; you might be offered bail or a stay in custody until the hearing date. In the case of bail, the first choice is usually friends and families. What if they fail to raise the bail amount? If your friends and family can’t submit the required bail amount, that’s when you need a bond dealer. When contacting a bail bond company, they need to provide details of the person arrested, locked, booking or report number, charges, and any other information that may help the bond dealer. The bond dealer will require signing some paperwork for their services and a commission of the bail amount or the bond’s collateral. After coming in agreements and signing the documents, the bail company will post the bail, which will secure your release. The posting of the defendant’s bail and freedom is usually immediate after agreeing to the bond dealer’s terms and conditions.
What to Do When Out on a Bail Bond
After the bail company has secured you, you must fulfill the conditions and terms to avoid inconveniences and losing bond money. First, you should not travel outside your country. Remain calm at home and wait for your hearing. Secondly, you need to find the bail bond company and share everything concerning the case and assure them you will follow all the court procedures. Lastly, you have to understand the case and follow it to the latter to ensure reasonable charges. After the case outcome, the bail will be refunded to the bond dealer by the court. If you don’t attend the court as required, the bond company will have to forfeit the bail bond, and they will arrest you or make you refund the money they lost in your bail. Sticking to the bail conditions is very important to avoid inconveniences.
Also known as post-conviction bail, it applies after the case has been tried and determined. Instead of immediately serving the jail term, defendants can ask the court for some time to appeal. The sentence bail secures their release. The defendant can be out of court until when the appeal is heard and determined by the court. However, this bail does not apply to all cases. Some cases require no bail and the defendant has to start the jail term immediately after it’s read. If there is an appeal, the magistrate can give its decision. This bail is different from the one offered before the hearing.
Getting the Bill From the Court
Whether it’s you who paid the bail, your family, or a bond dealer, the bail is refundable to whoever paid it. This process is after the defendant has followed all the set terms and conditions of the court. In other circumstances, the bail can get forfeited.
- Bill Release and Refund: In this case, the bill gets refunded to the family, the bond company, or any other person who paid it. It depends on the payments and the case it was securing. The duration depends on the court and its procedures. However, the court can keep part of the bail as an administrative or holding fee at given times.
- Bill Forfeiture: When you fail to appear to court as instructed, the bail gets forfeited, regardless of who paid it. Even if you attend the court sessions, but you don’t keep the bail’s terms and conditions, the amount can be forfeited. The court can also foreclose or repossess a property if it withstood the bail when you miss the court sessions.
Generally, a bond agent or dealer’s work is to pay the court bail on behalf of the suspect to secure their freedom. The defendant has to pay the agent their fees before getting their services and follow the set rules to avoid the agent losing their cash. There are so many agents out there. Choosing them depends on their credibility, years of practice, and other factors. Ensure you follow the right channels and keep the bail conditions, as stated in this article. We hope the article has enlightened you about the bails, the bond dealer, and how they can help you in a court of law.