Wrongly Accused: Criminal Defense 101

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Types Of Bail And How A Bail Bondsman Can Help

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Whether it is you, a friend, or a family member that needs to be bonded out of jail, the choice of putting up a large sum of cash or hiring a bondsman is the first decision you need to make. If you cannot afford to pay the bail in full, a bail bonds service can put the money up for the bail, and you will need just ten percent of the bond up front. In some cases, they may take other collateral in place of the money, but don't put up anything you are not willing to lose in case the bailed person does not show up for court.

Recognizance Release

In the case of a recognizance release, you will not need a bondsman because the court believes you are going to appear in court to answer your charges. If you don't bench warrant will be issued and you will be arrested. The likelihood of anything other than cash bail after failing to appear is not very good. If you are lucky enough to get released on your own recognizance, be sure to appear on time and answer the charge.

Surety Bond or Bail

This is the most common type of bail. It does allow for you to be released after a bondsman puts up the bail, but if you do not appear in court, the bondsman stands to lose a lot of money and will likely hire a recovery agent or bounty hunter to find you and return you to jail so they con recover their money.

Property Bail

This is a slightly different situation because the bond is secured by property; in this case, the bondsman must have complete control over the property, so if you secure the bond with a house, you will have to sign a contract turning the property over to the bondsman in the event that the bond is forfeited. Not every bond company will allow this type of collateral because it requires selling the property to recover their money. If that is your plan, ask the bondsman on the phone if they do these bonds so they don't waste a trip to the jail.

Cash Bail

Cash bail set by the court system is not really bail that they expect you to be able to pay. In some cases, you may find a bondsman that can pay the bail, but it is not likely because the judge will set a cash bail so high that it is expected to keep you in jail. This is common if the court believes you to be a flight risk, but in rare cases, it might be payable with the right financier behind you.