January 04, 2018
Bail Bonds, What They Are & How They Work
When your family or friend finds themselves in jail, it’s understandable that you will want to do anything you can to help them get out of there. We highly recommend skipping the jailbreak and going straight to the bail bond process. The following is a brief outline of what bonds are and how they work.
Bonds to Get Out of Jail
The only way to get out of jail before a hearing (barring a rare accidental arrest) is through a bail bond. There are are three types of ways you can get out of jail through a bond.
Bond Through the Court
Getting a bond through court is simple: you pay into the court (around 10 percent) and the individual is released. At the end of their case, they will get what remains out of that balance, as the bond money is used to cover fines, court costs, and attorney fees.
Through a Bondsman
Bondsmen will take 10-15 percent up front to bond someone out of jail. Bondsmen are convenient and knowledgeable about what they do, the downside is that they take a larger amount of money than the court.
These bonds must be 100% cash, meaning the full amount of money must be in cash (not a percentage). During a case, the seriousness of the offense can increase–so does the cash bail. The first step your retained attorney should do is to try to have the cash-only bail lowered or amended to 10 percent.
No Show in Court
If an individual doesn’t appear on their court date, the bond agent is allowed to make arrangements to bring the defendant to the court in order to recover the bond money. This is most often done with a bounty hunter (sometimes referred to as a Bail Enforcement Agent); Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Maine have now outlawed using them.