Having a family member call you from jail because of getting arrested can be a stressful situation. Many people have no clue how to help someone in that situation, especially if they don't have the cash to help the person get bail. There are remedies, including loans you can get in the form of bail bonds. It's important to know how bail bonds work, and also to know what is expected of the person getting bailed out. There are a few key things that you should know about bail bonds.
There Needs to Be a Set Bail Amount
The first thing that has to happen with bail is a bail amount needs to be set by the court. With some traffic violations, bail amounts may be automatically set. The same is true for certain arrest warrants--the bail may be set for a certain amount with the warrant issued. However, most of the time when someone is arrested for a crime, they must first have a bail hearing. While this hearing is supposed to happen quickly, it may require an attorney to help the arrested person to get a hearing as quickly and as fairly as possible. Once the bail amount has been set by a judge, you can work with a bail bonding company to pay the required bail.
There Will Need to Be a Down Payment or Collateral
The amount you have to put up for a bail bond will vary from case to case. Some situations will allow for some flexibility on how much down will need to be paid. For smaller offenses that have lower bail, there will not be a huge down payment required. In some states, it is required to have a minimum amount, which is often ten percent of the total bail amount required by the court. It's important to know that in some cases you can put down something other than cash. Many people will use collateral, including valuables like jewelry to pay the required down payment.
Money Can Be Forfeited
Some people don't understand the seriousness of getting bail bonds. Once you have been given that money, it is imperative that you or the person you help get the bail for understands all of the terms of the bail. Missing any hearings regarding the case could result in bail being revoked. If at any time, bail gets revoked, there can be serious consequences. It could make the person who is charged a fugitive, and it could mean that bail will be revoked. This could mean that if the person charged is apprehended that they will not be given another chance at bail.
Understanding the bail process will help you or someone you love get out of jail quicker. Bail bonds can be a wonderful tool if used responsibly. Just make sure that all of the terms of bail are kept, and your bail won't ever be revoked.