Bail Bond Questions: FAQ

by | Feb 28, 2014 | Bail Bonds

If you find an outstanding warrant for a loved one and need to secure a bail bond, we realize this process may be new to you. To help assist you we have put together the following list of bail bond questions that are frequently asked during the bail bond process. These FAQ’s should help you understand the process.

Bail Bond Questions – FAQ’s

What is a bail bond?

Once someone is accused of a crime s/he will be arrested and booked into the county jail.  At that time s/he will get fingerprinted, and a mugshot will be taken.  The officer(s) will ask s/he for a statement.  The courts will then set a bail bond amount and any other stipulations for release from custody.

What is bail?

Bail is a financial agreement on behalf of the defendant to secure their release from jail. The bail bonding agency will file all documents with the court(s) to guarantee the defendants release from custody. Once all that happens the bail bond agency that guarantees the defendants release will essentially become their jailer. They will require the defendant to appear at all court hearings and comply with all other stipulations ordered by the courts until their case is completed.

How do bail bondsmen work?

How do bail bonds work? The bail bond agency works with the person(s) who want to bond a defendant from jail. The bondsman will charge a fee usually about 10% of the bail bond set by the courts. The fee is nonrefundable. The bail bondsman will require some legal paperwork with the person(s) that holds them accountable for up to the total amount of the bond if the defendant was to fail to appear in court. In some cases, the bail bondsman will require some form of collateral such as cash in the value of the bond, a mortgage contingency agreement, or anything else of value.

What is collateral?

Collateral is anything of value that the bail bonding agency holds to indemnify themselves from any loss. The collateral will be returned once the bail bonding agency is exonerated from all liability from the bond(s).

Will collateral be needed?

The bail bondsman will consider each case to determine if any collateral is needed. In most cases, the only collateral needed is signature from the defendant and person(s) guaranteeing the bond.

How long after an arrest will it take before I can bail someone out?

As one of our bail bond questions, we thought this was a good one to answer, as it is most frequently asked of us. A bond can’t be posted until after the courts have set the bond amount. This may not happen on the day of the arrest. Once the bond has been set and the bondsman posts the bond(s) on behalf of a defendant, the jail will process that person out.  The release time varies on many circumstances and also varies between each county jail.  In most cases, the defendant is released within a few hours from the time the bond was posted. We recommend you ask the bondsman when you are speaking to them as they will be most familiar with the procedures for each jail and they will be happy to provide that information to you.

What is a cash bond?

A cash bond is the full amount of the bond required, paid in cash, to release a defendant from jail.

How much does a cash bond cost?

A cash bond costs the full amount of the bond AND a nonrefundable $25.00 Sheriff’s fee if the bond is posted after regular hours with the jail. Example: A $500 cash bond would cost a total of $525 ($500 plus $25).

How do I post a cash bond?

For instructions on how to post a cash bond, call your local sheriff’s office. Note: You do not need to pay a bail bond agent to post a cash bond because you or another person can post a cash bond.

Can I change my mind after I post a cash bond for someone?

You may have the defendant turn him or herself into jail any time before the defendant misses a court date. If the defendant is returned to jail, you will need to file the required paperwork with the court. It will take about two weeks for the money to be mailed to you.

What do you do when you’re out on bail?

If you just got out of jail thanks to making bail either on your own or through a bail bondsman, then it is time to look toward the future.

  • Employment: Being employed while on bail is a good idea for when it comes to a court hearing. Maintaining employment shows that you can be responsible.
  • Sobriety: If your incident involved any form of alcohol or drug abuse, try and avoid these items in the future. There are several programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous to help with issues related to alcoholism.
  • Anger Management: If your incident involved violence or any form of an angry outburst, seek out a therapist out for anger management.
  • Stay Out of Trouble: Even in the most general sense, try and avoid any trouble that may arise. This includes common things such as getting pulled over for speeding, a non-violent domestic dispute, or social activities that may involve alcohol.

Attend to Required Events: Some people are released on bail with no prerequisites besides attending court dates. Others, however, may have to perform a regular check-in with an appointed official.

What happens if the defendant misses court?

Now, for one of the most important bail bond questions: the judge will issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest and the bond will be forfeited (defaulted). If you post a cash bond for the defendant, there are only two ways you can get your money back: 1) You must find the defendant and turn him or her back to the jail within 180 days of the bench warrant; 2) If the defendant is arrested and put back in jail within 180 days of the warrant, you can request your cash bond back.

Fill out the required paperwork and give it to the Court. The judge will review it and if approved, the cash bond will be mailed back to you. If the defendant isn’t found or arrested within 180 days, the Court will keep your entire cash bond.

For more information about obtaining a Bail Bond in Volusia County or Flagler County please give us a call here at Alliance Bail Bonds, 386-257-5116. Our bail bonds experts have years of experience and will be happy to answer your bail bond questions.