How Do I Get A Bail Bond?
There are four ways in which a person may be released from custody:
- Through a licensed bondsman.
- By posting cash for the full amount of the bond with the court or jail.
- Using real property (such as a home or a lot) as collateral for the court.
- The judge can decide to release the defendant on their own recognizance.
Do I get my money back after the case is over?
With few exceptions, you do not get back the premium that you paid to the bonding office. This premium is a bonding fee that allows the defendant to get out of jail, which is considered fully earned once the defendant is released from police custody. For example, if the defendant is re-arrested, no portion of the money is returned, nor is any other refund due. If the bondsman fails to fulfill their contract, only then you may be entitled to any refund.
What if I believe the defendant is not going to show up for court after posting bond?
There are solutions to this problem. Contact your bondsmen as soon as possible, so that they can discuss your options in full detail.
If the court date passes and the defendant does not show up, the court will set a time period for the defendant to be located. If the defendant can’t be found and does not appear in court before the deadline, their family or friends who co-signed for their bond may forfeit the collateral or property that was used to secure the bond.
What happens if the defendant gets re-arrested while out on bond?
Once the defendant is back in custody, the bond can be surrendered and your liability for the defendant will be terminated. However, if you choose to surrender the bond, you lose the premium paid to secure it. Also, if you again decide to get the defendant out on bond, you now must post two new bonds and pay the premium on both bonds.
Can the defendant leave the state or the country while on bond?
Special permission in writing from the bonding office is always required before attempting to do so. If the court has given you direct instructions not to leave the state or country, you must then get permission from both the bail agent and the court before leaving, otherwise you are subject to arrest.
Can a bail agent discount their fees on the premium?
The rate charged by bail agents depends on each state’s statutes and regulations. In some states, there are companies that can legally charge 8%, while the allowable premium is set at 10% in other locations. There is no leeway – if a company agrees to discount their fee, they could lose their license. Some bonding companies may lead you to believe that you’ll receive a discount, but eventually will end up charging you the whole amount. Always ask to see a rate chart if you feel that you are being wrongly charged.
Are some bond agents less expensive than others?
The bond costs in your area are dictated by the municipal statutes and regulations. Bond agents are generally licensed and regulated by the state. The government regulation of bond costs is intended to prevent the charging of premium rates that are “excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.”
What are bondsmen allowed to accept as collateral?
Each bonding office will have their own standards, but for the most part you should expect them to accept various forms of collateral. Some example of accepted items include:
- Real estate
- Credit cards
- Personal credit
- Bank accounts