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Understanding the Bail Bonds Process

/ Mike Tayler

Bail Bonds

Once a person has been arrested and charged with a crime the wheels of the justice system are set in motion and a number of things will occur:

  • The accused will be taken into custody and booked.
  • They will be fingerprinted and photographed.
  • Their personal property will be confiscated and held while they remain in custody.
  • A criminal record check will be performed. As well as a check for any outstanding warrants.
  • The will be placed in a holding cell in the Arapahoe County police station.
  • Bail will either be determined on the spot or a bail hearing set.
  • The person will either pay the bail themselves or contact an Arapahoe County bail bonds agent.

If the offense is minor the person may be released on their own recognizance after agreeing in writing to appear in court at the appointed time to face the charges. Not everyone is released in this way and the authorities only do so after taking several things into consideration including:

  • The nature and seriousness of the crime.
  • Whether the person has a history of criminal behavior.
  • Whether or not the person is deemed to represent a threat to the community.
  • Whether or not the person has any ties to the community.

The last point is important because the authorities use it to help determine whether or not the accused represents a flight risk. Those with deep roots in the Arapahoe County community are less likely to flee than those new to the area or just passing through.

Setting Bail

Depending on the seriousness of the crime and the other considerations outlined above the state may insist that the accused post bail in order to obtain their release while they await their court date. Bail is an insurance policy intended to guarantee the accused will not flee after being released. Even if a person is bailed by an Arapahoe County bondsman they will still need to appear in court on a given date and if they don’t bail will be revoked and a warrant issued for their arrest.

The bail process varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and state to state but in general a bail hearing will be set to determine the suitability of the accused for bail and the appropriate amount. During the bail hearing the court will typically take into consideration:

  • The physical and mental state of the accused
  • Their financial situation
  • Their ties to the community (if any)
  • Any history of substance abuse
  • Any history of violence or criminal activity

Should the court grant bail they will likely also impose certain restrictions. They may be forbidden to travel, they may be made to wear an electronic tracking bracelet, they may have any guns confiscated or they may be subject to a curfew. It’s unlikely all such restrictions would be imposed however, unless there were some compelling reason to do so.

The Arapahoe County Bail Bonds Agent

Once the amount of the bail is set the accused has three options. They can decline bail and wait in jail for their court date, they can pay the full amount themselves or they can contact a loved one or friend to bail them out using the services of an Arapahoe County bondsman.

Few are those who, once granted bail, simply refuse to take advantage of it. And it is perhaps just as rare for a person to post the full bail amount themselves. What happens most of the time is that the accused contacts a loved one who contacts an Arapahoe County bail bonds agent. The Arapahoe County bonding agent then gathers the particulars of the case in order to determine if they should agree to post the bail bond. If they do the loved one of the accused will need to put up a percentage of the total bail amount as a non-refundable fee and the Arapahoe County bail bonds agent will put up the rest.

The Indemnitor

By signing the bail bond contract with the Arapahoe County bonding agent, the loved one accepts responsibility for that person while they are out on bail. They become what is known in legal circles as the “indemnitor”. Should the accused flee after being released on bail the bail will be forfeit and the indemnitor will be responsible for repaying the Arapahoe County bondsman any money they lost as a result of the accused jumping bail.

Be Careful Before Agreeing to Sign a Bail Bond Contract

Many people make the mistake of bailing out (becoming the indemnitor for) people they don’t know very well or have not known very long. They may even put their house up as collateral against the cost of the bond. When the bailed person then flees the indemnitor is left holding the bag; responsible for the entire cost of the bond plus any costs incurred to track down and return the fugitive to custody. This can add up to a substantial amount of money and could impact that indemnitor’s life for many years to come.

As such the decision to bail someone out of jail should never be made lightly. Nor should a person ever bail someone out of jail unless it is a person with whom they have a strong emotional bond. Such individuals are far less likely to flee and bring ruin down upon an indemnitor than people with little or no history with the person who bailed them out. If you are questioning whether or not to bail someone out of jail contact an Arapahoe County bondsman and discuss the issue with them.

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