Being arrested or having a loved one arrested is a traumatic experience. During such a trying time, you may need to secure bail so that the person doesn’t have to spend time in jail before the court hearing. However, if you’ve never dealt with the bail bond process before, you may find it overwhelming and confusing. In this blog post, we provide you with a comprehensive guide on what you need to know about Bail Bonds.
What Are Bail Bonds?
When someone is arrested and taken to jail, the court may order them to pay bail to secure their release before their hearing. Since bail is often set at high amounts, most people cannot afford to pay it, hence the need for bail bonds. A bail bond is a contract between a licensed bail agent or bail bonding company, the defendant, and the person or entity funding the bond. The bond secures the release of the defendant from jail for a percentage of the total bail amount.
How Do Bail Bonds Work?
When a person is arrested, a bail amount is set based on the severity of the crime, their criminal history, and whether they are a flight risk. Bail bond companies in most states require a premium of around 10% of the total bail amount to secure the bond. If the bail amount is set at $10,000, the bail bond company may require a premium of $1000. After this, the bail bond company prepares necessary paperwork and submits it to the court for the release of the defendant.
Responsibilities of the Defendant and the Co-Signer
When a bail bond is signed, the defendant and the co-signer (person funding the bond) are responsible for ensuring that the defendant appears in court for all required hearings. If the defendant skips a court hearing, the co-signer, and the bail bond company may be held responsible for paying the entire bail amount. The defendant may also face additional charges for skipping a court hearing.
Repercussions of Co-Signing a Bail Bond
Before signing a bail bond, the co-signer should be aware of the responsibilities they are taking on if the defendant skips a court hearing. Failure to pay the full bail amount may result in the bail bond company taking legal action, and the co-signer’s credit score could be affected. Additionally, if the defendant runs, the co-signer might have to pay for the bond, plus expenses incurred in retrieving the defendant.
Dealing with legal matters can be confusing, but with the right guidance, you can make informed decisions. Understanding the bail bond process and your responsibilities as a co-signer may reduce your stress and help put you in a better position to handle things. Remember to always consult a licensed bail bond agent in your area to obtain the best possible advice before making any decisions.