If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense, especially
a serious crime, you will most likely need to secure a bail bond to be
released from jail. Most people’s knowledge of bail stems from TV
shows and feature films, as well as ads and commercials advertising bail
bonds. If that is the case for you, and you’ve never dealt directly
with needing to post bail before until now, then you need to brush up
your bail bond knowledge.
What is a Bail?
Bail is an agreement that is made between the court and the defendant,
in which the latter agrees to post a specific amount of money to ensure
that they will return to their scheduled court date. When the defendant
attend their scheduled court date, as has been stated in the agreement,
they get their money back.
If a defendant cannot pay the amount of the bail, they will not be released
from jail until the court date and trial. Since it can often take months
for trials to start following the initial time of arrest, being unable
to post bail can make life extremely difficult.
How do Bail Bonds Work?
A bail bond acts sort of like a personal loan. You put down a small percentage
of the total amount, and a bondsman or bail agent provides you with the
remainder of the money.
Most bail bond companies will require you to provide collateral for the
remaining amount of money. Collateral is often in the form of a deed to
a house, car, or item of jewelry, and is used to secure the bail bonds’
loan if the defendant fails to show up at their scheduled court date,
and thus not receive his or her money back. When the trial ends, and the
defendant receives the money back, this money is then returned to the
bail bond company.
The following are common types of bail bonds available:
Cash bond – A defendant can post cash bail with the jail or facility to secure
his or her release
Surety bond – A bond which is secured by an insurance company.
Property bond – Using property, such as a house, in place of putting down cash
Release on your own recognizance – Own recognizance release is a no-cost bail where a defendant signs
a form stating he or she promises to appear in court as required, instead
of making a payment.
Citation release – Rather than being formally booked into a local detention facility
immediately after arrest, the arresting officer may issue a written citation,
also known as a “cite out.”
Due to the financial risk which the bondsman and a bail bond company take,
they typically take a number of precautions to make sure that the defendant
attends all of their court dates. For example, the bond company may prefer
that a relative or friend put up the collateral for the bond since a defendant
will be less likely to miss a court date if their relative or friend’s
house is on the line for the bond.
If you have been arrested in Florida, request a
free consultation with our Daytona Beach criminal defense attorneys at
Stepniak & Park today.