Your Bail Bond Guide
Getting arrested is a stressful time, especially if you have to wait in jail to await your hearing. Luckily, bail offers people a chance to wait and prepare at home. If you would like to know more, check out these three commonly asked questions about bail bonds.
1. What Is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a type of surety loan that is used to post bail after someone gets arrested, so they can be released on bail. Surety loans involve three parties: the principal, the surety, and the obligee. With a bail bond, the principal is the person who was arrested. They technically owe the courts (the obligee) the bail.
However, since the principal can't afford the bail, they take out a bail bond with a bail bond agent (surety). The bail bond agent posts the bail in exchange for a small fee.
2. How Do You Get a Bail Bond?
Given the nature of arrests, bail bond agents are usually always open to post bail at any time. In many cases, you may call the bail bond agent yourself, but others may have websites you can use. In some cases, a family member may contact the bail bond agent on your behalf.
Depending on the situation, you may need some collateral or a cosigner. Collateral, like a car or property, can be seized by the bail bond agent if you skip your court case. If you have a cosigner, the responsibility to repay the bail bond agent falls on them.
Most bail bond agents do all the paperwork for you and post the bail on your behalf, making the whole process easy. Once you're out on bail, you will have some rules to follow (set by the court). If you break any of these rules, your bail could be revoked.
3. What Happens After the Trial?
Even when you're out on bond, you need to attend every court hearing related to the arrest. Once the trial ends, the bail bond money is returned to the bail bond agent. The agent releases you and the cosigner from the contract and relinquishes the claim of the collateral.
Even if you are found guilty, the money and collateral are returned. If you are found guilty, however, you may still owe some fines associated with the crime. If you didn't attend your trial, the courts keep the bail bond agent's money. In exchange, the bail bond agent seizes your collateral to sell/recoup the money, and/or they go after the cosigner for payment.
If there is no cosigner/collateral, or if your cosigner doesn't want to be left holding the bag, someone may send a bounty hunter to collect you and bring you back to court. Once you are returned, your bail will be revoked, and the money will be returned to the bail bond agent.
With a bail bond, you can get out of jail to prepare for your trial, which can reduce stress and allow you to keep your job and continue spending time with your family. If you want to know more, or if you need a bail bond, contact a bail bond agent in your area today.