The Bail Bond Process – From the Arrest to the Release
After the Bail Bond Process
- If I sign a bail Bond Agreement for someone and they are found guilty, am I required to pay the full amount of bail?
- If I’m a Cosigner for a friend or family member and that person misses court, do I have to pay the full value of the bond?
- I signed a bail bond agreement for a friend or relative and they just missed their court date, what should I do?
Once a person has been arrested, they will be transported to the jail facility which serves that jurisdiction and processed into their system. This process can take anywhere from an hour to several hours to complete.
Once the person has been processed, they will go before the magistrate and their charges will be reviewed. At this point, a number of things could happen. They may be released on a citation, they may be released on their Own Recognizance (meaning their own promise to appear in court), the magistrate may determine the bail amount that will be required for the defendant to be released, or the magistrate may choose to hold the defendant until the case can be heard by the judge presiding over that jurisdiction.
If the defendant has been given a citation or accepts the agreement to return on his or her Own Recognizance, they will typically be released shortly thereafter, but it could take up to several hours.
If the magistrate chooses to assign a bond amount to the case, the defendant will then have an opportunity to call family or friends to see if a bondsman can be retained. (That’s where we come in!)
However, if the magistrate chooses to wait for the presiding judge to hear the request for bond, the defendant will have to wait until the next day that court is in session or until a bond hearing can be scheduled. If this happens, try to be patient. There are a few things that you, as the indemnitor or co-signer can do while you wait for your friend or loved one to have his day in court.
1.Contact a bondsman and explain the situation. Here, at Accelerated Bail Bonds, you can download or we can email or fax you the documents you will be required to complete in order to procure a bond.
2.Start to collect the information you will need to give the bondsman when you sign for the bond.
c.Two (2) paystubs, if you have been at your job less than two (2) years
d.At least three (3) references (i.e. Neighbors, friends, relatives, coworkers)
e.Information about the defendant – place of employment, friends, relatives, vehicle information. (We can fill in any gaps when we interview the defendant.)
Once the judge has determined the amount the court will require to secure the bond, call us back and we can begin the process of getting the defendant released. If we have sent documents to you by fax or email, you will need to bring them with you or we can provide them when you meet with the bondsman. A non-refundable fee (Premium) of 10% of the bond, plus any other applicable fees will be due before the bondsman will enter the jail to get the defendant released. All fees will be disclosed to you up front and you will be provided a copy of the Administrative Fee Disclosure Form.
Occasionally, well-qualified Indemnitor applicants may be able to negotiate a payment arrangement for the premium. This payment arrangement must be strictly adhered to, as failure to do so will result in the defendant being returned to jail and/or civil action.
When you meet with the bondsman, he or she will explain to you your rights and responsibilities as an Indemnitor/Co-signer. You will be asked to sign a document that says you understand your rights and will be given a copy. The bondsman may also ask you if you would like any stipulations placed on the bond, for example: if you would like the defendant to check in with the bondsman at a designated interval, or other stipulations that you can discuss with the bondsman.
Remember, you are ultimately financially responsible for 100% of the bond amount if the defendant does not complete their court obligations. A little thought and planning ahead can save a lot of headache down the road if you have any doubt that the defendant will perform all that is required.
What do I need to bail someone out of jail?
You will need the premium (the premium is 10% of the total bail amount), a qualified Indemnitor (the Indemnitor is financially responsible for the bail bond) and possibly some form of collateral.
Who is a qualified Indemnitor/Cosigner?
A qualified Indemnitor or Cosigner is:
- gainfully employed
- has lived in the area for at least two (2) years
- has a lease or mortgage in their name
- has verifiable personal references
How long will it take to release my loved one from jail?
For most transactions, the paperwork usually takes about 20 minutes. Release time from local jails varies by facility and can vary within each facility because of other factors such as meal and count times, a larger than normal number of intakes, etc. The release time from county jails varies, but is typically 2-8 hours. In some situations it can take longer.
As a Cosigner or Indemnitor, what are my responsibilities?
You are responsible for ensuring that the defendant appears for their scheduled court dates and adheres to all other court stipulations. You are not signing to guarantee the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
How much does a bail bond cost?
The cost of the bail bond, which is called the premium, is 10% of the bail bond amount. This amount is dictated and regulated by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, not the bail bondsman or business.
What if I don’t have the full 10%?
Well-qualified indemnitors can request a payment arrangement for a portion of the premium. Please call and we can explain this more fully to you, answer your questions, and tailor a solution to your particular situation.
Do I get my money back?
The money you pay for the cost of the bail bond, the premium, is non-refundable. This is the fee charged by the bail bond company to post or guarantee the full amount of bail with the jail or court.
Two situations can confuse people into thinking they can get the premium back:
1. If you post the full amount in cash with the jail/court, the cash bail is returned to you by the court typically 6-8 weeks after the bond is exonerated.
2. Sometimes the court personnel mistakenly assumes that the bail bond company has taken cash for collateral and they tell people that their bond is exonerated and they can go get their money back from the bail bond company.
If I sign a Bail Bond Agreement for someone and they are found guilty, am I required to pay the full amount of the bail?
No, your signature only gives consent that you will pay the full amount of the bond if, for any reason, the defendant does not to appear on their court date, and all efforts to return them to custody have been exhausted and/or the court demands the full amount of bail because the defendant has failed to appear.
If I’m a co-signer for a friend or family member and that person misses court, do I have to pay you the full value of the bond?
If you notify us of the Capias and make arrangements to return that person to the court before the court demands the full payment, you will only be liable for the actual expenses our company incurs in apprehending the defendant. In this instance, our trained staff of fugitive recovery agents will coordinate with you to return the person to custody in the most safe, efficient manner possible. We place great emphasis on safety for you, the defendant, and our staff. Our fugitive recovery team members are not vigilantes – they are trained in situational de-escalation techniques and safety. Our goal is to bring the defendant into custody with the absolute minimum amount of stress for all involved. If the defendant cannot be found and the court has demanded forfeiture of the full bond amount, only then you will have to pay the entirety of the bond.
I signed a Bail Bond Agreement for a friend or relative and they just missed a court date. What should I do?
Call our office immediately. The court automatically issues a warrant for their arrest called a Capias. The Capias must be served on the defendant. He or she may do that by going before the magistrate, who can choose to require additional bond, that he or she remain in jail without bond, or an ROR (own recognizance) bond at their discretion. If the Capias is not served on the defendant, it will be an outstanding warrant which can cause the defendant to be re-arrested at ANY time. If they missed their court date unintentionally, the judge may choose to dismiss the Capias charge at a later date.
There are very few acceptable reasons for missing court and it is generally at the discretion of the Judge to accept or deny those reasons. Examples: Medical Emergency for self or immediate family, death of immediate family member, natural disaster. The defendant should attempt to notify the court before their appointed time and they should be prepared to offer any proof they may have to explain why they missed court.
When is the bail bond released and my responsibility as a cosigner or defendant completed?
- The court will typically exonerate (release) the bond when one of the following happens:the charges are dropped or the case is dismissed (Nolle Prosequi),
- the defendant has been found guilty, sentenced, and returned to custody
- the defendant is returned to custody because of additional charges (related to or unrelated to the charges for which the bond was written) and the bondsman chooses to ask for the magistrate to authorize a Bail Piece Release (release of bond responsibility)