Bail Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Purpose Of A Bail Bond?
The purpose of bail is to assure the defendant will be present for court for proceedings a judge orders before or after a conviction.
Is Bail Ever Refunded?
You will not be refunded any amount that was paid for the bail bond. Once the bail bond has served its purpose, the surety will be exonerated or released from the obligation. If the proceedings are terminated or the defendant is returned to custody, the exoneration has transpired.
How Do Bail Bonds Work?
Posting bail bond involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by a bail agent and the individual posting bail. The bail agent assures to the court that the defendant will be attending every court date the judge orders them to. The defendant is charged a percentage of the bail (10%). Before being released, either the defendant, a family member, or a friend must acquire the services of a bail bond agent and arrange bail. Generally a family member or a friend co-signs for bail. Before bail will be posted, the defendant or a co-signer will agree to pay the full amount if the defendant does not show up for court. Collateral is not always required, although the co-signer does need to be working or own a home. Often times bail can be posted upon a co-signers signature. Once the contract has been signed, the bail bond agent then posts bail. If the defendant disappears before the court dates, the co-signer is responsible to pay the full amount, and if the agent seeks out the defendant, the co-signer is also required to pay full expenses incurred.
How Long Is The Bail Bond Good For?
A bail bond is good for one year. If the case goes beyond a year, the premiums must be paid again, in order to keep the bail bond current.
Is Bail Money Returned if Charges are Dismissed?
Statutes provide for exoneration of the surety, in the event of a dismissal. There is however, a grace period if the prosecution seeks to re-arrest. The bail bond company does not refund any return money.
What If You Don’t Show Up For Your Court Date?
If you don’t show up for court after securing a bail bond, the bail bondsman will hire bounty hunters to find you. Bounty hunters excel at their ability to track people down. The last place you want to find yourself is on the run with a bounty hunter in pursuit. If you do get a bail bond; don’t skip town or you will be on the run for the rest of your life. Not to mention, you will leave behind a loved one with the burden of paying for the full amount of bail, as well as expenses incurred to locate you.