If you’re looking for a clear and concise explanation of how bail bonds work, you may be at a loss. A Google search returns a surplus of lengthy articles with complicated terms and descriptions likely to confuse the reader even more. For bail agents who explain the process multiple times a day, the following video might be a solution for educating your clients on what to expect in the process:
The bail amount is set by a judge during a bail hearing. The judge will consider a variety of factors, including the severity of the crime, previous convictions, the defendant’s ties to the community, family, and whether or not they have steady employment.
If you cannot afford bail, you need to hire a bail agent. You will pay a small fee to the agent, who will take on the responsibility of the full bail amount.
When contacting a bail agent, make sure you know:
The bail agent will usually meet you at the jail to post the bond, though in some cases they may be willing to come to your home. If you are not in the same city as the defendant all paperwork and payments can be handled electronically or over the phone.
The bail agent posts the bond after the premium has been paid and any collateral has been signed over.
The process of bailing someone out can take a short time or several hours. It depends on the circumstances and how crowded the jail is.
After the person has been released, they must show up for all court proceedings and meet any conditions set by the bail agent.
If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail agent will be required to pay the full bail amount. If this happens or if the defendant violates any bail conditions, the bail agent will locate the defendant and take them back to jail.
If the defendant does not make their court date you could lose any collateral that was signed over with the bond, but as long the defendant complies with the terms set by the bail agent and shows up for all court dates, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Once the trial is over you are no longer obligated to the bond. It does not matter whether the defendant was found innocent or guilty.