While just about every American adult has heard about bail it’s still a widely misunderstood part of the criminal justice system. Many people think that if someone is arrested they are read their Miranda rights, given a phone call and someone shows up at the jail with cash to bail them out. Actually, most people are never read their Miranda rights (because they only apply if the police are planning to interrogate someone), many are never given a phone call (at least not right away) and if you work with a bondsman you may never go to the jail where your loved one is being held. In the spirit of clearing things up let’s look at 7 commonly asked questions about bail.
The 2 most popular types of bail are cash bail and the bail bond, or 10% bond.
Even people who have experience with bail aren’t aware the indemnitor (the friend or loved one who puts up the cash and collateral to bail someone out) is allowed to change their mind after the person has been released. Sometimes the indemnitor may become concerned that their friend or loved one is planning to jump bail. In which case they (the indemnitor) would stand to lose a lot of money. Instead of waiting to be victimized they instead cancel the bond and the accused is returned to jail.
Unfortunately it’s not all that uncommon for someone out on bail to be arrested again. Sometimes it’s because they violated the terms of their release and other times it’s because they committed another crime, or are at least suspected of committing another crime. Once the person out on bail is returned to custody the original bail is considered “surrendered” and both the bail agent and the indemnitor are freed of responsibility for that bond.
The defendant’s lawyer can file a motion to have the bail lowered if he or she believes the bail is unreasonable or punitive. The judge in the case may go along with it if the lawyer makes a reasonable case. Or they may release the defendant on their own recognizance or they may decide the bail amount is perfectly reasonable and refuse to lower it. But modifying the amount of bail is not a one way street. The prosecutor might in fact argue that the bail is too low and file a motion to have it raised.
Arrests are part of the public record so if your loved one gets arrested, regardless of the charge, there is no way to hide this fact from someone determined to find out. On the other hand working with a bail bonds agent is almost always a confidential process. The only ones who would know you used a bail agent to secure the release of a loved one would be the bondsman and you.
The bail agent will need the full real name of the accused, along with their age, sex and race. They will also likely want to know what charge the person has been arrested on, whether they have a prior history of arrests, whether they live and work in the area, whether they have a family and children and whether they rent or own their residence. The last few questions are asked to try and determine if someone is a flight risk. Generally, those with roots in a particular area are less likely to jump bail then someone who is just visiting or passing through.
Once the legal process has worked itself out bail money is returned to the poster. If you arranged for a bail bond through a bonding agent and they, for instance, put a lien on your house to secure the bond, the lien will be released at the end of the process. Keep in mind however that the 10% premium paid to the bail agent is non-refundable. This of course, assumes the defendant has made all the requisite court appearances. If the defendant at any time heads for the hills before the legal process is completed then the bail is revoked and the bail agent will collect from the indemnitor to cover their losses. This may also include charging the indemnitor for the cost of having the defendant-turned-fugitive tracked down and returned to custody by a bounty hunter.
If you would like to learn more or need help securing the release of someone from jail call Tayler Made Bail BondingTayler Made Bail Bonding Services today at (303) 623-0399.