How to Navigate the Bail Bonds System

Bail Bonds System

Bail bonds are an option for defendants that want to stay out of jail while awaiting their court hearing or trial. Judges ordinarily set bail based on a standard amount but may raise or lower it depending on the circumstances. The person who posts bail for you promises that you will show up at your scheduled court dates. You must have one court date to avoid forfeiture of your bail.

Know Your Rights

The bail bond system is an essential aspect of the criminal justice process. Defendants and their loved ones must know how the process works to make informed decisions protecting their legal rights. Typically, bail bonds Schuylkill County, PA, are made out of money paid to the court by friends and family on behalf of the accused to guarantee that they will appear in court when required. Judges usually set a specific bail amount based on a bail schedule at the defendant’s first court appearance, either a bail hearing or an arraignment. Getting out on bail allows people to live at home, work, and support their families while they await trial. However, strict conditions must be met while out on bail. Violations of these terms can result in the judge rescinding the accused’s ability and permission to post bail. Sometimes, the judge may even send the person back to jail and keep their bail money.

Understand the Process

Bail is the amount of money that a defendant gives to the court in exchange for early release from jail before their trial date. The court decides whether or not to allow bail for each case and sets the terms of release. The defendant can pay the court directly or through a bail bond company. If the defendant violates their pretrial release conditions, the judge can rescind bail and issue a warrant for their arrest. The judge may also require other collateral to secure bail, such as a DNA sample, phone or in-person check-ins with the court, drug testing, or court date reminders. To post a bail bond, the defendant or someone they trust (an indemnitor) must pay the bail agent a percentage of the total bond amount. The bail bondsman will then secure the remainder of the bond with property or pledge collateral. The bail bond agent will return any cash or property pledged to it when the case is forgiven and give a detailed receipt.

Talk to a Lawyer

An excellent criminal defense attorney can help you to understand the specific charges against you and how a judge will determine bail at arraignment. The judge will consider various factors, including the seriousness of the offense and whether or not a weapon or drugs were involved. The judge will also examine the accused person’s character, family ties, past convictions, and other issues. Defendants who can’t afford to pay their full bail amount in cash can get a bail bond by co-signing an agreement with a bondsman or agent. The bondsman will secure collateral such as a house, car, or other assets that will be used to cover the cost of the bond in case the accused person fails to appear in court. The bondsman will also make periodic calls to the accused person to remind them of their upcoming court dates. This can be a helpful tool to keep the accused in line and prevent them from missing their court dates or skipping out on the bail bond altogether.

Ask Questions

Ask essential questions during your first phone call with the bail bond professional. Asking these questions will help you better decide who to hire to bail your loved one out of jail. A good bail bond agent will tell you upfront what percentage they charge for their services. They will explain why they charge that percentage and what other fees may be involved. Bail is set by a judge who considers many factors, such as the severity of the crime and the likelihood that the defendant will flee prosecution. However, it’s unfair to those who can’t afford their full bail and are forced to remain in jail until they are found guilty, or their case goes to trial. Bail bond agents understand that life happens and that people sometimes miss court dates due to extenuating circumstances. A good bail company will work with you and your indemnitor to address any issues.