Frequently Asked Questions About Bail Bonds

Bail bond concept

 

People don’t usually think about bail bonds in Gastonia, NC unless someone they know and love is arrested. Because of this, people often ask the same questions about bail, bail bonds, and contacting a bail bondsman. Here are some answers to your burning questions about bail.

What is Bail?

Bail is a set amount of money that must be paid to the court so that the defendant can be granted a temporary release. It acts as insurance between the court and the defendant.

What is a Bail Bond?

A bail bond is a type of surety bond that is provided by a bail bonds company through a bail bondsman or bail agent. It secures the defendant’s release from jail and guarantees the court that they will pay the bail amount if a defendant fails to show up at their scheduled court date.

How Does a Bail Bond Work?

The defendant is given a bail hearing before a judge. The amount of bail to be set depends on the judge and is usually based on the following criteria:

  • Offense made
  • The severity of the offense
  • History of past offenses
  • Potential flight risk
  • Defendant’s character

Once the bail is set, the defendant can: remain in jail until the trial where the charges will be resolved, hire the services of a bail bondsman, or pay the full amount of bail in cash. If the defendant hires a bail bondsman, the bondsman will provide a written agreement to the court that they will fully pay the bail amount should the defendant fail to appear on their trial dates. As soon as the bail or bail bond has been delivered, the defendant is released until their trial.

How Much Do Bail Bondsmen Charge?

Bail bonds companies generally charge a nonrefundable fee of 10% to 20% of the bail amount. Some companies may require this fee upfront, while some others will work out a realistic payment plan that depends on the client’s financial capabilities. The bail bondsman may also require collateral to ensure that the defendant shows up to their trial.

What Is Accepted as Collateral?

Each bail bonds company has its own standards but most of them accept real estate, cars, jewelry, bonds, stocks, and personal credit as collateral.

How Long Does the Bail Process Take?

gavel with money and handcuffs

The length of time that it takes a court to process a bail bond varies. It all depends on the nature of the crime, the volume of arrests and the number of employees working at the jail on that given day, the defendant’s criminal history, and a range of other factors. Though they cannot guarantee the defendant’s release in a certain amount of time, bail bondsmen will do what they can to get the defendant out of jail as soon as possible.

Do I Get My Money Back Once the Case is Done?

More often than not, you do not get back the money that you paid to the bonding office. That fee is the price that you have to pay to get the defendant out of jail. You may only be entitled to a refund if your bail bondsman failed to live up to his end of the contract.

Those are just some questions that you may have regarding bail and bail bonds. Hopefully, they have been answered to your satisfaction.

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