When you need someone to bail you out of jail, you may be tempted to call a Hartford Bail Bondsman right away. Before you do that, it’s important to know the facts about bail bonds so you can make the best decision for your situation. Here are the facts you need to know:
1. Bail is a form of insurance
A bail is a form of insurance that keeps a defendant in court. The bail amount is set by a judge, and the defendant pays a bail bondsman a premium to post the bail amount. The bail bondsman then promises the court that the defendant will appear in court and will pay any fines, fees, or restitution that may be ordered. The bondsman is fully responsible for paying the full bail amount to the court in case the defendant does not appear in court as ordered. In case the defendant flees, the bondsman is also responsible for tracking down the defendant and bringing him or her back to court.
2. A bail bondsman is not a required party to a bail agreement
A defendant’s family and friends can agree to put up their own property or other assets as bail for the defendant. The defendant must sign the bail agreement and promise to appear in court. The court does not require a bondsman in this situation. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail amounts are forfeited to the court.
3. The amount of bail is up to the judge
Bail is determined by a judge based on the specific facts of each case. Factors that affect the bail amount includes
- The likelihood that the defendant will flee before trial– Defendants who are likely to flee or who have a history of failing to appear in court will have their bail amounts set higher than those who are likely to appear in court.
- The seriousness of the charges– More serious charges will result in higher bail amounts.
- The defendant’s criminal history– Defendants with criminal histories may face higher bail amounts.
- The defendant’s ties to the community– Defendants who have strong ties to the community are less likely to flee and are more likely to appear in court, so they may be able to get lower bail amounts.
- The community’s safety– If the defendant is considered to be a danger to the community, the judge may set a higher bail amount.
4. Bail amount does not determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant
A bail is a form of assurance that the defendant will appear in court on the date he or she is required to be there. If the defendant does not appear in court, the bail money is forfeited to the court. Bail does not prove guilt or innocence – only a court trial or guilty plea can do that.
How much do bail bondsmen charge?
The cost of bail bond services is typically 10% of the bail amount, with a minimum charge of $100. This fee is non-refundable. Before arranging bail, it is important to know what the bail bondsman charges. You can compare the fees of different bondsmen before you choose one.
What do bail bondsmen do?
Bail bondsmen are responsible for several tasks related to bail bonds.
- Post bail for the defendant: Once the bail bond agreement is signed, the bail bondsman will post the bail amount with the court by paying the court or by giving the court a surety bond. The bail bondsman will then get a receipt for the bail amount and give it to the defendant.
- Monitor the defendant’s compliance with the bail bond agreement: The bondsman will make sure the defendant shows up in court on the right day and at the right time. If the defendant misses a court date or doesn’t appear in court as ordered, the bondsman will have to pay the full bail amount to the court. The bondsman can also find the defendant and bring him or her back to court if the defendant flees.
- Track down the defendant if he or she flees the state: If the defendant flees the state, the bail bondsman has to track the defendant down and bring the defendant back to court. This process is called extradition. The bondsman may hire a bounty hunter to track down the defendant.
Knowing these facts about bail bonds can help you make the best decision for your situation. Before you call a bail bondsman, make sure you find a licensed professional. This means that the bail bondsman has gone through a certification process, including training and education on the state’s bond laws and regulations.