Most crimes fall under felonies (serious crimes) or misdemeanors (less severe). But irrespective of what you are accused of, you have a right to post bail to secure your freedom during the pendency of the trial.
This is because, legally, you’re regarded as innocent until proven guilty.
The thing is that your bail application may be rejected if you have a criminal record that makes you a danger to the public or is regarded as a flight risk. There’s also the problem of not having money for it at the moment.
Commercial bail bond companies post bail on behalf of their clients charged with criminal offenses but can’t raise the bail amount. These companies are state regulated, with rules varying from state to state. Knowing this, you can’t count on just any one of them when you need help in a specific place.
For instance, to get help posting bail in Pico Rivera, it’s best to engage the services of bail bondsmen within California.
But how do they work? If you or someone you know needs help to understand their options in the face of detainment, here’s what you need to know about commercial bail bonds.
What Is A Bail Bond?
If you’re arrested for a crime that warrants trial, you may be released on your own recognizance. That means the court trusts that you’ll show up for the hearings and comply with the set conditions.
But that’s not always the case. You may fail to convince the judge that you’ll keep your end of the bargain, leaving you with the option of either going to jail as you await trial or posting bail.
Bail is money, property, or bond given to the court to guarantee that the accused person will comply with set conditions and attend court hearings as they become due in exchange for their freedom during trial. If you, as the accused person, keep your promise and attend court as required, what you deposited will be returned upon discharge or at the end of the trial.
However, if you skip even one hearing, you’ll forfeit the entire bail, and a warrant of arrest will be issued against you.
If you would like to maintain your freedom during court proceedings, posting bail is the clear choice. But what if you can’t get the money for that at the moment?
In that case, a commercial bail bond company can provide the aid you need.
What Is The Role Of A Bail Bondsman?
Bail can be relatively low or run up to millions of dollars depending on the charges against you.
When bail reaches beyond your capacity to pay, bail bond companies step in to help. For a fee usually of 10% of the amount, a bail bondsman will act as an agent between you and the court. They pledge the bail money on your behalf and become your surety to appear in court for hearings.
Once you enter into an agreement with a bail bond company, they’ll secure your release by paying the court a portion of the bail amount. The remaining amount will become due if you fail to appear in court when required.
How Does A Bail Bond Service Make Money?
Commercial bail bond companies are for-profit entities that benefit from their clients’ non-refundable fees. Apart from the upfront 10% you pay to the bail bondsmen, they’ll also require collateral in the form of valuable property, like real estate, cars, jewelry, stocks, credit cards, bonds, or the like, to secure the bond.
If you comply with all your pre-trial release requirements, a bail bondsman will recover the total bail sum they posted on your behalf. You won’t be required to pay any extra charges.
What Happens When A Client Skips Court?
When the accused persons are personally responsible for their bail, they get penalized, and more severe charges are brought against them when they skip court.
Where bail bondsmen are concerned, they’ll do everything they can to ensure you attend court. They’ll call to remind you of the court date. Some will even go to great lengths to take you to court. And if you jump bail, they’ll employ the services of bail fugitive recovery enforcement agents, also known as bounty hunters, to find you. Bounty hunters are legally empowered to apprehend and return the accused to jail.
If a client violates their terms of release and can’t be apprehended to attend court, the entire bail amount becomes due automatically. The bail bondsman must pay the due amount as your guarantor. At this point, they can repossess the collateral you pledged to secure the bond. This can include assets belonging to third parties like family members and friends that guaranteed your bond.
Know Your Options
Commercial bail bonds were established to facilitate the affordable release of people who’d otherwise spend time in jail during trial. It’s one of the most guaranteed ways for courts to meet their goals without using taxpayers’ money. It also assures victims that the accused is still in the court’s custody even if they’re granted freedom during the pendency of the trial. After all, failure to comply with the release conditions will result in their apprehension and being thrown back into jail.