Criminal Law Questions – How Do Bail Bonds Work?

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By Darrell Horner Co-Author: Adam Wolfe
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Expert Author Darrell Horner

When a person is arrested for a crime, a judge will set the bail amount based on the severity of the crime and the past criminal history of the defendant. If the defendant is unable to pay the bail amount then they will remain in jail until their scheduled court appearance. This is a problem for many people who get arrested. A person often has work and family obligations, and being locked-up for any extended period of time could bring hardships. People who find themselves in this tough situation need a bail bond in order to get released from custody quickly.

A bail bond is a guarantee between the court and a bail bondsman, or bond company. The bond guarantees that the defendant will come to court for their scheduled appearance. If the arrested party does not come to court then the bail bondsman is responsible for paying the bail amount. Many bail bond companies seek collateral for high bail amounts because the bondsman must pay the bail for a no-show defendant.

The fee for securing a bond agent is 10% of the total amount set by the court. Most state governments set the legal amount that bail bond companies can charge. For example, if bail is set at $50,000 then the defendant would pay $5,000 to the bail bondsman. The bail bondsman’s fee is non-refundable and covers the services provided for securing bail. Most low-cost bail amounts do not require collateral.

Typically it is a friend, relative or loved one who makes first contact with a bail bond company on behalf of the defendant. Being arrested or having a loved one in custody is always stressful. It can also be quite traumatic. Agents must deal with stressed clients everyday and are often ready to help speed the process along. The bondsman will request some basic information in order to begin processing the bond. The agent will ask for the arrested individual’s full name and date of birth, the jail name, city, the date he or she was arrested, and the amount of bail set by the court. A bail bondsman can assist with obtaining information that may be unknown.

Some people are surprised to learn that bail is not considered a source of income for the state, nor is it set to punish the defendant. It truly is just an incentive to get the defendant to appear in court without trying to run from the law. In most situations the bondsman’s fee is relatively affordable and will not greatly impact the defendants finances. Paying the bail bondsman is much more affordable than paying bail or being locked up for weeks. Obtaining a bond from a reputable bail company can be a quick process with minimal hassle.

Horner Bail Bonds is the most trusted source for Hawaii bail bonds and is backed by Bail USA. They are dedicated to helping people in need of bail throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

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