Why Bail is Important
In the United States all persons charged with a crime have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. If a person is not charged with a crime that is punishable by death they have the right to bail, which means they have the right to be released from jail pending their trial.
The state does not want to pay to keep someone who may be innocent behind bars until their matter has been decided in court. At the same time, the judicial system has a vested interest in making sure a defendant returns to court when required. This is where the bail system comes in.
Bail OptionsBail allows someone to make a financial promise to the court that they will appear when mandated in order to have their legal issue resolved. Bail promises collateral in return for release. When someone has been arrested and charged with a crime, and the court has granted them bail, they have several options when it comes to getting out of jail. They can post the full bail amount with the court via cash or cashier’s check (cash bail); someone can post a piece of property that has equity equal to twice the bail amount with the court (property bond); or an expert bail bondsman can be hired to post something called a bail bond.
In the case of cash bail, as long as the defendant attends all the necessary court proceedings the money will be returned, in full, to the person who posted it at the conclusion of the case. This is not something that happens right away and can oftentimes take several months. Property bonds are very similar. As long as the defendant goes to court as required the deed of trust will be returned to the property owner once the case is resolved. If the defendant decides to flee, however, the cash bail or property bond is considered forfeited.
Using A BondsmanMost people do not have large sums of money readily available to post for cash bail, nor do many people own homes with the equity needed in order to move forward with a property bond. Or, if they do, they may not feel comfortable putting up their property in order to get a friend or family member out of jail. This is where bail bondsmen come in.
For a fee equal to 10% of the defendant’s total bail amount a bondsman will go to the jail and post something called a bail bond. A bail bond is a piece of paper that serves as an insurance policy and that insurance policy promises two things. First, it promises that the defendant will go to court when required. Second, it promises that if they decide to run from the law, that the bondsman and the person who signed the bail bonds contract will pay the defendant’s full bail amount to the court as a penalty. Bail bondsmen taken on a certain amount of liability every time they post a bond. This is why they charge a fee for their services.
If someone you care for has been arrested and you have questions about how to get them out of jail it is oftentimes easiest to work with an expert bondsman. Bail agents are experts in their field, are familiar with the jail system and can assist you in getting someone out of jail fast.
For 24 hour bail bond assistance call Tonya Page Bail Bonds at 1-877-861-3761. An expert bondsman will explain the process and your options.
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- Pam in Santa Barbara