If you or a loved one have been placed under arrest for committing a crime, then you may be feeling overwhelmed by the experience. If this is your first encounter with the criminal justice system, you may not understand the process involved with facing charges and being released from custody on bail.
Like many people, your understanding of the process may only have been gauged from watching TV shows and watching the news coverage of trials. To help you understand how the bail process works in real life, here are four commonly asked questions.
1. What is bail?
Bail is a monetary security that is imposed by the court that acts as a guarantee that you'll return to court to face charges once you're released from custody. The bail amount is determined by the judge at a bail hearing and will depend on the severity of the crime and any regulations that are dictated by the state the crime was committed in.
2. What if you can't afford the bail amount?
If the bail amount is significant, then you or your family may not have the amount of money to post bail yourself. In this scenario, you can use the services of a bail bondsman to provide the bail amount for you. By having your bail posted by a bondsman, you are entering into a legally binding contract with the bondsman or the agency they work for.
3. What conditions are involved with getting a bail bond?
Before the bondsman will post bail for you, they'll need to establish sureties that you will return to face trial and the bail bond will be returned to them. This generally means you or a family member will need to provide collateral, such as a vehicle, house, assets, or other property, that the bondsman can claim if you fail to appear in court or adhere to any bail conditions.
4. What happens if you fail to appear in court?
If you fail to appear in court, then the bail bondsman will take steps to return you to custody to regain their bail bond amount. They may enlist a bounty hunter to locate you and return you to jail. They can also claim any assets listed as collateral in the bail bond contract or sue you or a family member to recover lost monies.
If you or a loved one has found yourself in custody, then contact a local bail bondsman at companies like Rader Bonding Co to begin the process of gaining release. Most cities have bail bondsman offices close to jail locations, and they operate around the clock and seven days a week.