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How Does the Bail Bond Process Work?

Tue, Dec. 27, 2016 Posted: 05:31 PM

Often times we’ve seen in television how a judge goes after an accused and announces a bail amount. The defendant might just look depressed and hopeless but somehow, in the end, manages to be free. Suppose the bail was set at a whopping $100,000, but how could the defendant afford it? And what are different risks associated with the activities of an accused who was just given a bail? There are too many questions that might come across in the minds of people regarding bail and bail bonds. So, let us try to find answers to these important questions.

What is a Bail Bond?

Bail bonds basically refer to the surety bonds that are used to guarantee the bail amount imposed on a defendant if he or she fails to comply with the terms and conditions of his or her release. It is one of the procedures that are incorporated for obtaining the release of an accused awaiting trial on account of criminal charges. A professional bail bond produces a document that agrees to pay the amount of money determined by the Court if the defendant fails to appear on the trial date. The bail bond may also be sought in civil cases where a defendant could be prevented from a jurisdiction to avoid litigation.

What’s the Difference Between Bond and Bail?

When an accused is released from jail, he is either ‘bonded out’ or ‘bailed out’. These two terms are often used interchangeably. Although both of them have the same outcome – temporary freedom, however, there is a subtle difference between the two. As we know, bail refers to a monetary amount that must be paid to secure the release of a defendant. So, if his family pays the required amount of bail, he is bailed out of jail. But sometimes criminal defendants do not have enough funds to seek bail. In these circumstances, bonds fit in. Bonds are the bail amounts paid by a bail company. The procedure for this is a defendant securing a loan from the bail bond company along with collateral like car or house. He also needs to pay a set fee, which is generally 10 % of the bail amount. After that, the bail bondsman pays a portion of the bail amount to the court with a guarantee that the remaining amount would be paid in the event of disappearance of the defendant. Apart from the set fee, the bail agent may also charge reasonable expenses incurred in relation to the bail transaction.

How High Can Bail Be? How is Bail Amount Determined?

It is required that each and every bail company files rates in accordance with Department of Insurance. Therefore, bail agents are expected to charge the same filed rates. In this regard, a Rate Chart is needed to be shown at every bail bond office. As per the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the bail amount cannot be too high. The idea behind this is that bail must not be used to raise money for the government. The basic purpose of bail is to provide a personal freedom so that the defendant could prove his/her innocence unless convicted of the crime. The bail amount should not be unreasonably high so that the defendant might be forced to flee.

Will a Defendant Get Their Money Back securing a loan from the bail bond companyfrom a Bail Bondsman?

No, the defendant will not get any money back that had been paid to a bail bondsman. After the bail bond serves its purpose, the surety is absolved from the obligation. The acquittal usually happens when the legal proceeding is finished or the defendant is returned to the custody. If the defendant is found convicted, he is given the sentence for imprisonment, at this point in time, the liability of the surety terminates.

Is a Bail Bond Taxable or Tax Deductible?

The bail bond is not tax-deductible. Just because it is paid to the government does not make it like a tax. It is basically a guarantee that ensures the accused will return to court so that he will face the trial that he had been accused of committing. Also, if a defendant pays the full amount of bail money on his own, then he becomes liable to get the full refund as long he continues to appear in the court to stand trial.

The Discretion of Courts is Used in Allowing Bail

A court has complete freedom to use its discretion in relation to the allowance of bail. It has full right to evaluate the merits and circumstances of a particular case. It weighs the existence of doubt regarding the defendant’s appearance in the trial. Unreasonable legal delays on the part of the courts usually pave a way for the bail. There are certain jurisdictions that use their absolute discretionary rights, on the other hand, there are those jurisdictions in which it is neither proscribed nor regarded as Absolute Right. In such situations, the bail is granted depending on the nature of the crime.

Rob williams