Did you know that approximately $2 billion worth of bail bonds are issued out every year? If you’re a leader of a bail bond company, you know that this is big business.
But how do bail bond companies work? What does it take to obtain a bail bond in today’s day and age?
In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about getting bail and what to expect as a bail bond firm in the coming year.
What Is Bail?
Bail is an array of rules and demands meant to make sure that a person who is freed from prison will show up to their court date when they are supposed to.
Most of the time, these requirements have to do with money. The defendant will have to pay bail (an amount of cash) in order to get out of jail.
Bail isn’t meant to punish, and the amount of bail a defendant has to pay has nothing to do with whether or not they are guilty. Instead, it has to do with whether or not individuals will show up in court.
There are two kinds of bail that can get someone out of jail. These things are cash bail and personal recognizance. If a magistrate believes that a defendant is unlikely to show up in court, they may decide to let them out on cash bail. This requires that the defendant will have to pay money to get out of jail.
People are sometimes let go just because they said they would show up to court. This is called bail on your own recognizance.
How Is Bail Determined?
The bail magistrate looks at the details of the case, the defendant’s finances and criminal background, the defendant’s risk of running away and any previous failures to show up in court. Based on this information, the bail magistrate decides if the defendant is likely to show up in court if he or she is released on bail.
What is a Bail Bond?
Bail bonds are a means for a defendant to pay up front and avoid prison until the day they appear in court. If the person accused of a crime can’t pay bail, they have to sit in prison until their court date.
You have the option to pay the full bail amount yourself in many places and situations. There are a lot of small bond amounts for crimes. Defendants can also charge the amount for a fee if the jail chooses to accept credit card payments.
Even if the defendant can pay in full the bail, it can be hard to find a way to pay the jail. When you are arrested, your personal belongings are often taken from you. Cash in large amounts could be taken as proof. There are some jails that won’t take credit cards. If they do, they usually have to pay a big fee.
A defendant can also get in touch with a bail agent. Many people end up choosing to do this because when they use an agency, they only have to pay a part of the bond up front. Often, the defendant’s friends or family will call a bail agent on their behalf.
If you hire a bail bondsman or agent, they would then write up an agreement to make sure you know that you are responsible for making sure the accused person shows up to all court dates. If the defendant doesn’t show up, you’ll have to pay the whole bail amount.
How Does a Bail Bond Work?
Since people can be arrested at any time, most bail bond companies are open 24 hours a day. Payments and paperwork can often be done electronically, which speeds up the process.
The paperwork is an agreement between the person who posts bail and the court. It makes sure that the person fully understands that by posting bail, they are agreeing to be responsible for ensuring the defendant shows up to all court dates.
In the paperwork, they will also say what they have put up as collateral to make sure that person shows up in court. The court outlines fees in the paperwork. When calling a bail agent, they will have to know the entire name of the defendant, their booking number, the charges, and the location of the jail where they are being held.
From there, the bail agent will have the person out of jail by putting up a bond. When the bail bondsman goes to the jail, he or she receives the court date, a receipt, and all the necessary paperwork so that they can keep track of the case. Depending on how the jail works and how busy it is, this can take a few hours.
If the defendant doesn’t turn up to any court hearings, the bail agent will have to pay the full bail amount to the court. The bail agent will then consider hiring a bounty hunter to find the person and bring them back to jail. If the defendant doesn’t show up to court, the person that took out the bail bond may lose any collateral or face other penalties, depending on the contract.
How Do Bail Bond Companies Work?
So, how do bail bond companies work? As mentioned above, most bail bond companies are available to defendants at all hours of the day. They can create paperwork that allows the defendant to put up collateral to get out of jail. If the defendant doesn’t show up to the hearings, the agent that issued the bail amount will pay the court and issue out a bounty hunter for the accused party.
If you enjoyed this article and are interested in becoming a bail bond agent in Virginia, please contact us today!