Questions About Bail Bonds? Here Are Your Answers

Business Blog

It's natural for those unfamiliar with how bail bonds work to have questions. Most of the terms and practices can be a bit confusing. Read on for what you need to know about bail bonds so that you can act to get someone out of jail.

You Are an Indemnitor 

When you act on someone's behalf to get them out of jail, you are known as an indemnitor, also known as a guarantor or co-signer. When you sign on for this task, you are responsible for making sure that the defendant appears in court as ordered. Otherwise, any property you have pledged can be forfeited. Although you cannot be held criminally responsible for the defendant, you may be financially responsible for them. If the defendant fails to uphold the bail agreement, you could owe the court the full amount of the bond, which could be thousands of dollars.

The Cost of the Bail Bond is a Premium

Bail bonds cost less than bail charged by the court because the bonding agency pays or guarantees the full cost for the defendant. In return, the defendant or the indemnitor pays the bond agency a premium. The premium is set by each state and can vary so phone your local bail bonding agent to find out more. For example, if the bail costs $5,000 and the bond premium is 10%, you must pay $500 for the bail bond. Once paid, the defendant is released.

The Agreement Spells Everything Out

You will be signing a bail agreement once you appear at the bonding agency. It's a legally binding contract that contains these elements:

  • Name and contact details.
  • Date
  • The bond amount and any collateral collected by the agency.
  • Charges of the defendant.
  • The court responsible for the proceedings.
  • Wording specifying what could occur if the defendant fails to follow all the rules and appear in court.
  • Bond conditions.

Bounty Hunters and Skipping Bail

When a defendant doesn't appear in court, they have skipped bail. This action can result in a bench warrant issued by the judge immediately following the missed appearance. Law enforcement has the power to arrest the defendant and return them to jail. In some places, bail enforcement agents, or bounty hunters, are sent after a defendant that skipped bail to bring them to jail. They are usually hired by the bail bonding agency and must be licensed by the state.

Find out more about bail and what more needs to be done to get someone out of jail by speaking to a bail bonding service near the jail or courthouse.


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