FAQ for Bail Bonds
What is bail?
Bail is specific amount of money that can be posted to the court to obtain an inmate's early release. The 8th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees the defendant the right to reasonable bail. There are certain circumstances that would prevent a person from being able to post bail. This includes certain felonies such as aggravated assault and capital murder. The defendant may also be denied bail if the judge feels they are a threat to themselves or others.
How do bail bonds work?
Bail bonds are simply a trade where the defendant agrees to pay a set amount of money in return for their early release from jail. As part of the conditions of their release, the person must agree to appear at all scheduled court hearings and comply with any other stipulations the court demands. A bail bond agent will write up the contract and post the necessary funds to the court for the defendant's release. In order to secure the bond, a co-signer must pay a 10 percent bond premium as well as any other fees that may be incurred during the process. The premium is not refundable and is required by the state's Department of Insurance.
What is a bail bond?
A bail bond is an agreement between the courts and the defendant that enables the defendant to be released from jail as long as they agree to comply with the court's demands and return for their scheduled court hearings. If they fail to do so, their bail is forfeited and the full amount will be owed.
What is the difference between the premium and the bail bond amount?
The premium is the 10 percent fee that is charged to secure the bail bond. The bail bond is the total amount set by the court in order for the defendant to be released. Since the premium is 10 percent of the total bond amount, a $30,000 bail bond would require a $3,000 premium.
What is a guarantor or co-signer?
A co-signer or guarantor is someone who agrees to be financially responsible for the defendant if they are released on bail. They agree to cover the full amount of the bail bond, if for some reason, the defendant misses their court date.
What is an exonerated bail bond?
An exonerated bail bond is one in which the court process has concluded and the money posted for bail can be released back to the co-signer or bail bond agency. If the premium were paid as part of a payment plan, any money still owing would have to be paid according to the original agreement.
How is a bond forfeited?
Bail bonds are forfeited when a defendant does not appear at their scheduled court hearings. If they fail to appear, notice is given to the bail bond agent that a warrant will be issued for your arrest. They will have a specific amount of time to return you to the jail or the bail bond will be forfeited and the entire amount of the bail bond will be owed. In some cases, the court may allow the bond to be reinstated.
What is a summary judgment?
If a defendant has jumped bail, a summary judgment is issued when the deadline for their return or to issue a reinstatement has passed. A summary judgment is issued by the court and states that the full amount of the bond is due and owing.
What happens when a bond is reinstated?
When a defendant fails to appear in court, their bail is revoked and a bench warrant is issued for their arrest. A reinstatement occurs when the defendant agrees to turn themselves in and comply with the demands of the court, if the court agrees to reinstate their bail. This is often what happens when a person mistakenly misses their court dates or is detained by circumstances beyond their control.
What is considered by the court when determining the amount of bail?
Bail is set at the discretion of the judge and serves to ensure the defendant's appearance in court. Bail is not intended to be a punishment. It's main purpose is to ensure the defendant follows the orders of the court.
Excessively high bail amounts of direct violations of the defendant's constitutional rights. In setting an appropriate bail amount, the court must consider the defendant's prior criminal history, the seriousness of the charges and the defendant's overall risk of flight.
Public safety is also an issue. If the court believes a person may be danger to themselves or others, they decide it is in the best interest of everyone involved to remand them into custody. While the defendant may describe in great detail their ties to the community, other factors, such as the use of a deadly weapon may be considered. Ideally, bail is set at the minimum amount instead of the maximum.
How much does it cost to bail a person out of jail?
No two cases are the same If you have any questions about what it will take to bail your loved one out of jail, call your nearest Steven Mehr Bail Bonds office and talk to one of our licensed agents. Call us today at 1-800-834-8522.
Are bond premiums refundable?
Premiums are not negotiable and non-refundable. They are set by the state and the Department of Insurance and are basically, how the bail bonds agents earn their money. They take all of the risk when a bond is written and this fee assures that they will receive some type of compensation for their efforts.
Steven Mehr Bail Bonds accepts a wide variety of payments to secure a bail bond. We are able to take checks, money orders, all debit and credit cards and, if you are eligible, we have payment plans available as well.
What are a normal bail bonds agents' hours?
Our doors are always open. At Steven Mehr Bail Bonds, our agents are available night and day to help you with all of your bail bonds needs. 24 hours a day and weekends and holidays, because we know arrests don't always occur during banker's hours.