Bail bonds provide a critical function in our justice system these days, and they supply invaluable help for those accused of crimes. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the bail process and the incredible usefulness of bail bonds. Today, we’ll break down some of the most frequently asked questions about bail bonds, explain how they work, and outline some of their conditions. After reading through, you should have a firm grasp of key bail concepts and know what to do if a loved one is arrested for a crime.
Is a Bond Different From Bail?
Bail is the cash amount or property value that must be provided for a crime suspect to be released from jail, prior to their court trial. A bail bond is a portion of the total bail price that is provided by a bonding service in exchange for a subject’s release from jail. When a bail bondsman posts a bond, it also means they will ensure the subject’s return to court for their scheduled appearances.
How Does a Bail Bond Work?
When an arrested individual is provided a price for bail, they can either pay the full price by themselves, or they can request a bail bond agent to pay a bond on their behalf. An agent of their choice is summoned, who then signs a bond agreement. They assume a great deal of financial risk to assure the court you will return for your specified dates.
What Happens When You Pay a Bail Bond?
As soon as the agent activates the bail bond, you (or your loved one) should be released from prison immediately. Your agent will then discuss your scheduled court appearances with you, inform you what happens if you don’t arrive on time on those dates, then let you go on your way. You’ll be able to continue working and living at home until your trial. This allows you to continue earning income and greatly reduces stress for your loved ones.
What Happens if You Can’t Make Bail?
If bail will not (or cannot) be paid, the suspect in question is held in lockup until the time of their trial. Not everyone can afford the full price of bail. In that’s the case for your family, you can request the services of a bail bondsman. You will have to pay them a nonrefundable percentage of the total bail cost, but this is typically much more manageable.
In certain cases, a judge may decide to withhold bail. That means that the offending individual cannot be released on bail. This action is reserved for cases where the suspect is thought to be a flight risk or an imminent threat to the community. Bail is more commonly withheld from repeat offenders.
What are the Types of Bail Bonds?
Bail can be difficult to understand, especially since there are all types of bail bonds available these days! Some of the most frequently used types include:
- Surety Bonds
- Federal Bail
- Appeals Bail
- Immigration Bail
- Property Bonds
- Cash Bonds
Surety bonds cover the vast majority of bonding cases. When a bonding agent posts bail for you, they provide assurances that you will indeed return to court as scheduled.
Federal bail bonds act in pretty much the same way as surety bonds, only the crime involved is related to a federal case and the agent agrees to return you to a federal court.
Appeal bonding is reserved for those who have just lost a court case but wish to file an appeal to a higher court. The bond is generally priced to match or lightly exceed the amount agreed upon in the outcome of the lesser court. In simple terms, if someone loses a case and their fine is set at $5000, they must pay a bond of $5000 (or higher) when they file an appeal. If they lose their appeal, the bond money is forfeit.
Immigration bonds are a type of surety bond that is paid in the case of a detained illegal immigrant.
Property bonds use a piece of a defendant’s (or family member’s) property as collateral for bail. If the individual fails to appear in court, the court may move to foreclose on the property.
Cash bonds are for cases where a judge setting the price of bail demands that the amount be paid in full from the start. Some bail bond companies provide cash bonds to help individuals cover the cost and the amount is paid back to the agency over time.
Additional Questions About Bail Bonds
Can You Bail Yourself Out of Jail?
Yes! Unless a judge withholds bail or places unusual bail conditions, you or your family should be allowed to pay the full price of bail for your pre-trial release.
Can You Bail Someone Out of Jail if They Have a Warrant?
If a friend or family member is served a warrant and arrested, you have the option (in most cases) to pay the money for their release on bail. Should they fail to appear in court however, you will forfeit the money or property you provided.
Can a Bench Warrant Be Dropped?
A bench warrant is issued by a judge or magistrate when a person scheduled to appear in court fails to do so. There is only one way for a bench warrant to be canceled. You and/or your legal council must go before the judge and explain your reason(s) for not appearing as mandated. If your reasons are valid, the judge may lift the warrant.
Call Our Bonding Service Today!
Are you or a loved one in need of bail assistance? At Alvarado Bail Bonds, we strive to provide affordable and reliable service for all your bail bonds needs. To learn more, contact our team at 888-866-8376!