You’ve seen plenty of crime shows on television to know that when there is an arrest, often once booked, the person can get out on bail. On TV at least, it can appear that the bail step just happens following a minute in front of the judge.
In fact, to get a bail bond, there are several things that happen behind the scenes with the court and a bail bond agent.
Do you have a loved one who’s arrested and you want to arrange bail? Certainly, you’re worried and probably wondering how do bail bonds work? Are you thinking will I have enough money for bail?
Read on to learn about affordable bail bonds, the process, and how to arrange bail for your loved one.
What Is Bail Bond?
A bail bond is an amount of money that’s paid to the court. Once an arrested person appears before a judge, bail can be set. The bail paid works like a promise that the arrested person can get released from jail, but that all court appearances will get met.
There are a variety of different ways to make bail. More on the types of bail shortly.
After An Arrest
Whether a person’s arrested because of an arrest warrant or at the scene of a crime, once arrested they will be taken back to the police station for booking. At the police station, they will get fingerprinted, have mug shots taken, and the details of their arrest will get recorded.
This begins the process of creating a formal report. Their criminal history will be pulled up and an investigation into the alleged crime will begin.
How Do Bail Bonds Work?
After the initial booking’s done, there are a few things that can happen. First, though the suspect will need to appear before the court for formal charges and a potential bail hearing. Once appearing before a judge, then it will depend on the circumstances of what happens next.
The judge will consider the circumstances of the crime and the accused criminal history. Then a few things could happen:
- A minor could get released to the custody of parents
- The accused could get released on their own recognizance (more on this shortly)
- The judge could set a bail amount
If bail is set, then you need to figure out how to pay the amount requested by the court.
Types of Bail
There are several different types of bail that are possible. The type of bail will depend on the crime, the criminal history of the arrested, what the judge sets for bail, and the ability to make bail.
Being released on your own recognizance actually means you aren’t paying any amount of bail. It means the court views you as trustworthy to show up for court and that you won’t flee.
The court will have you sign that you promise to appear at your court hearings and will let you go without requiring any kind of payment.
Some crimes have preset cash amounts. So, the judge doesn’t necessarily set the amount, it’s already set. Often this is connected to a cash bond.
A cash bond is one that’s paid to the court in cash. Most courts only accept cash, cashier’s checks or credit cards, all guaranteed forms of payment. Once the cash bond’s paid, the accused gets released.
A property bond is a type of bond where a valuable piece of property is paid as collateral to ensure the bond. The property gets put up as collateral to either the court or the bail bonds service. They will put a lien on the property, often a home or land. This means they have a stake in the property while bail is still needed.
This can be a risky option if there’s any concern the accused won’t be forthright and show up for court.
A surety bond is most likely the traditional bond you imagine. This comes from a bail bonds service. Most people can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket bail amounts. Often judges set those amounts high in an effort to keep the accused in jail or to make sure they don’t skip out on future court dates.
When an accused person or their loved one can’t come up with the bail amount, they can go to a bail bonds agent. This bail bonds service will require a percentage in fees for the bail, then they pay the bail for you.
Other Types of Bond
There are a few other types of bonds too. These include:
- A citation bond what works almost like a ticket or citation
- An immigration bond when arrested by immigration or ICE
- A federal bond gets paid through a federal court
No matter the type of bail, the goal is to get released from jail as quickly as possible. Remember though, the bail acts as a guarantee that the accused will be present at all required court dates.
Can the Bail Amount Be Reduced?
A judge considers the crime in question and the criminal history of the accused when setting bail. At the initial hearing when bail is set, it isn’t a good idea to ask for lower bail. The prosecutor could just ask that it be set higher to start.
If you want to request a lower bail, you probably want the advice of a criminal defense attorney for the best time to make that request.
What Happens If the Terms of the Bail Are Violated?
Skipping out on bail is never a good idea. If you don’t show up for your court dates, your bail can be revoked and a warrant for your arrest can be issued.
Once you’re arrested, you’ll be held in jail. Often a bail bond enforcement agent will work with you to make sure you attend your court dates so bail isn’t violated.
North Carolina Bail Bonds
How do bail bonds work when you need them? Before agreeing to any bail terms, it’s important to understand what you’re agreeing to and what the cost will be. Of course, abiding by the terms of the bail is key to staying out of jail while your case proceeds.
Do you or someone you love need bail? Contact us for a free consultation about your bail needs.