Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
A Bail Contract spells out the relationship and obligations of the defendant, the court, the bail bonds company, the surety company and the indemnitors (co-signer/s) of the bond.
A bond is in effect until the defendant completes his obligations to the court. This usually means that it ends when the defendant appears in court and case is concluded.
Collateral is usually supplied by relatives and friends of the defendant (called an indemnitor/s) and provides added financial security to ensure that the defendant appears in court when he or she is supposed to. Collateral can be in the form of anything of financial value that is legally pledged to back up the promise that the defendant will appear on his or her appointed court date.
The premium amount is for the many service provided by the Bail Bonds Company to release the defendant from jail and make sure he appears in court. The premium is not refunded when the defendant appears in court – even if the charges are dropped. Premium is considered earned when the bond is posted and the defendant is released from the facility accepting the bail bond.
Collateral is returned to its owner(s) immediately following the payment of all premiums and the “exoneration” of the bond by the court. Typically this takes no more than 21 days from the moment the surety is given notice of bond discharge. You must provide your original receipt for collateral and valid State issued identification when collecting your collateral. Collateral is returned during regular office hours. Monday thru Friday between 9am – 4pm
Yes, Bail Agents must undergo a background check, pass an examination, and obtain a license from the Department of Insurance in their State. To maintain the license, agents must attend continuing education classes yearly.
There are five release options available: cash bond, surety bond, property bond, own recognizance (O.R.), and citation release.
- Cash Bond: To be released on cash bail, someone must post with the court the total amount of the bail, in cash. The purpose of this is to secure his or her return to court on an appointed date, and thereafter until the case is concluded. If the defendant shows up for his/her scheduled court appearances, the cash is returned to him/her. If s/he fails to appear, the cash bond is forfeited to the court.
- Surety Bond: An alternative to cash bail is the posting of a surety bond. This process involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by an admitted insurance company having adequate assets to satisfy the face value of the bond. The bail agent guarantees to the court that they will pay the bond forfeiture if a defendant fails to appear for their scheduled court appearances. The bail agent’s guarantee is made through a surety company and/or by the pledge of property owned by the agent.
- Own Recognizance (R.O.R.) : Another method of release pending trial is through a county or law enforcement administered pre-trial release program. Usually, the staff members of these programs interview individuals in custody and make recommendations to the court regarding release of these individuals on their own recognizance (i.e., without any financial security to insure the interviewee’s return).
- Citation Release: This procedure, known as the “Cite Out”, involves the issuance of a citation by the arresting officer to the arrestee, informing the arrestee that he or she must appear at an appointed court date. The Cite Out usually occurs immediately after an individual is arrested. Such an arrestee’s appearance in court depends exclusively upon the integrity of the arrestee and his or her voluntarily returning to court. Also, known as PTA (Promise to Appear)
The purpose of bail is to assure the attendance of the defendant, when his or her presence is required in court, whether before or after conviction. Bail is not a means of punishing a defendant, nor should there be a suggestion of revenue to the government.
The term Bail is used in several distinct senses: (1) It may mean the security-cash or bond-given for the appearance of the prisoner. (2) It may mean the bondsman (i.e., the person who acts as surety for the defendant’s appearance, and into whose custody the defendant is released). (3) As a verb, it may refer to the release of the defendant (he was bailed out). The first meaning is the most common and should be employed for clarity.
Admission to bail is the order of a competent court that the defendant be discharged from actual custody upon bail. The discharge on bail is accomplished by the taking of bail (i.e., the acceptance by the court or magistrate of security-either an undertaking or deposit-for the appearance of the defendant before a court for some part of the criminal proceeding).
Bail is evidenced by a bond or recognizance, which ordinarily becomes a record of the court. The bond is in the nature of a contract between the state on one side and the defendant and his sureties on the other. The agreement basically is that the state will release the defendant from custody the sureties will undertake that the defendant will appear at a specified time and place to answer the charge made against him. If the defendant fails to appear, the sureties become the absolute debtor of the state for the amount of the bond.
Bail bond premiums schedule in most states is 10% or $100.00 whichever is greater. For Federal & Immigration bonds 15%. Example: A 250.00 bond would cost $100.00 and a $2000.00 bond would cost a premium of $200.00.