Bail is cash or a cash equivalent that an arrested person gives to a court to ensure that he will appear in court when ordered to do so. If the defendant appears in court at the proper time, the court refunds the bail.
If the defendant doesn't show up, the court keeps the bail and issues a warrant for the defendant's arrest. Bail can take any of the following forms:
- cash or check for the full amount of the bail
- property worth the full amount of the bail
- a bond-that is, a guaranteed payment of the full bail amount, or
- a waiver of payment on the condition that the defendant appear in court at the required time, commonly called "release on one's own recognizance" or simply "O.R."
Judges are responsible for setting bail. Because many people want to get out of jail immediately and, depending on when you are arrested, it can take up to five days to see a judge, most jails have standard bail schedules which specify bail amounts for common crimes.
You can get out of jail quickly by paying the amount set forth in the bail schedule.
Most bail bond premiums are ten percent of the full bail amount. For example, if the full bail amount is $10,000.00, the premium (fee) for the bail bond is $1,000.00. These fees are established by state law and regulated by the Department of Insurance. (Premium, state tax and Surcharge for a total of $1,037)
Once the bail bond is posted and accepted by a court or jail, liability is taken on the bail bond. At that point the bail bond premium is fully earned and is not refundable.
A bail bond is good for one year. If the case goes beyond the one year, the premium must be paid again in order to keep the bail bond current.
The indemnitor (co-signer) is financially liable for the bail bond. The indemnitor’s liability is limited to the full face value of the bail bond.
When you’ve been charged with a crime, getting out of jail may be the foremost thing on your mind. However, whom you contact first should depend upon your charged offense.
If you know you bail will be a specified amount, you may want to contact a bail bondsman to coordinate your release. You should seek legal assistance for your defense upon your release.
Should you be charged severe crime, you should consult an attorney first. Legal aspects of your case may be influential in determining your bail amount during the arraignment hearing.
For additional bail information, contact an attorney or bail bondsman.
The right to due process of law protects you in the event of an arrest. In additional to requiring a prompt jury trial and the counsel of an attorney, due process allows reasonable bail to be set to secure your release until your court appearance.
The ability to obtain bail protects you from potential employment loss or debt delinquency. A release on bail prior to a trial also protects innocent individual from emotional distress caused by their confinement.
Bail may be withheld for offenses where punishment may be the death penalty of life without parole. If your release posses a threat to another person, you may also be denied bail, depending on your crime, bail may be set at an amount too great for you to obtain a bond and your pretrial release.
Setting high bail is legal. Keep in mind that a percentage in cash and collateral for the ball balance is required to obtain a bail bond. To learn more about your right to bail, contact an attorney or bail bondsman.