A bail bond is essentially an agreement between a court and someone who has been accused of a crime; the defendant agrees to first pay a predetermined amount of money, then appear in court on a particular date or forfeit the entirety of that sum. This system works to ensure that people are motivated to fulfill their legal obligations and continue the trial process, regardless of their innocence or guilt. If someone you know has recently been arrested and is looking to be set free on bail, then you will likely need to work with a bail bondsman in order to successfully complete the bail process.
Keep reading for more information on three things you can expect during the bail bond process.
Agreeing to Terms
A bail bondsman will first lay out all of their terms in clear and simple language so that you know what is required upfront. Because bail bondsmen risk the total amount of bail if the defendant does not uphold their part of their agreement, they charge a small percentage of the total bail amount in return for their services. This percentage amount will vary by state, but once the co-signer agrees to the terms, they are responsible for paying it prior to bail being posted.
Providing Collateral or Credit Information
In many instances, the agent or court may also ask that the co-signer provide basic financial information such as their credit score or recent employment history. This is done to give third parties a greater sense of assurance that the defendant is capable of paying back the amount owed in a timely fashion. In other situations, the co-signer or defendant may simply be asked to provide something that can act as collateral for the full amount of the bail bond. Vehicles and houses are two of the most common forms of collateral.
Once you have understood the terms and provided all required credit information or collateral, you can expect that a bail bondsman will post bail within a matter of hours (if not faster). This efficiency is one of the main reasons why so many people choose to work with a bail bondsman when someone they know has been charged with a crime and kept in jail until bail is received. In fact, a bail bondsman will often travel from the court to the jail in order to make sure that process is adequately completed, giving you peace of mind throughout the process