When someone’s been arrested, they’ll either have the opportunity to post bail after being processed, or your bail will be set during a bail hearing. In either case, the accused have two options — to either post the entire amount or to post bail.
If you’re a fan of Law & Order or if you watch the news, you know that bail amount can go from the thousands of dollars to millions. In many cases, people are able to make bail — but most people don’t have thousands, let alone tens or hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to make bail. There are very few people who are able to post that kind of money at once.
In most cases, people use the services of a bail bond company. For a percentage of the total bail amount, usually 10 percent, the bail bond company will be able to promise the court that you will return for your court dates. This is known as the bail premium — the bail premium is non-refundable, and is a fee that the bail company earns for the services it offers. This is true even if the person accused of the crime is found innocent.
These bail bond companies work with insurance companies to issue a surety bond. These bonds are given to the courts in the place of the total bail amount.
In order to qualify for bail from a bail company, the person seeking their help must provide basic information such as their name and financial information. In some cases, collateral must also be presented in addition to the funds to cover the 10 percent bond. In many cases, property is the preferred form of collateral if it is requested.
Bail bond companies have a keen interest in making sure their customers make their court dates. They take on the responsibility of those customers making court dates and if they don’t make those dates, the bail bond company has to make good on the total bail amount.
In the event that an accused party doesn’t make their court date, the court will issue a bench warrant for their arrest. This happens in the event that the accused party intentionally misses a court date, not when unforeseen circumstances like a car breaking down occurs. the bail bonds company will often make use of bounty hunters to find them and bring them back into the criminal justice system.
However, in most cases bail bonds companies are able to help their customers return to their friends and family as quickly as possible.