What exactly is a “bail bond?” Many people use the words “bail” and “bond” interchangeably, but they’re actually pretty different. And it’s important to know how they work if you need either bail or a bail bond. Let’s talk about what a bail bond is, how it works, and how you can get one.
The Process of “Bailing Out”
Tom has been brought to a local jail. It’s a minor charge, but they want to make sure he actually attends his court date. He will attend a “bail hearing.” The judge will set a “bail amount” that he has to put up in order to get released. It’s $5,000. Tom now has two options:
- He can call someone to come down to the courthouse with $5,000. The courthouse will keep this $5,000 until he completes all his court dates (or they will keep the $5,000 if he does not).
- Tom can stay in jail until he completes his court dates. This is problematic for Tom; he could lose his job, he won’t be able to spend time with his kids, and he won’t be able to meet obligations like rent.
But the problem is that Tom’s family doesn’t have $5,000 in cash just lying around. The good news is that Tom actually has a third option: Tom can call a bail bondsman.
A bail bondsman puts up a “bond” for the $5,000, which is a guarantee that the $5,000 will get paid if it needs to be. Tom’s family will only need to put up a small fee (such as $500) for the bond. They won’t get that fee back, but they also won’t be out $5,000.
How Do You Get a Bail Bond?
Getting a bail bond is actually very easy. Once you contact a bondsman, they will put together all the paperwork for you. You pay a small fee (which is controlled and regulated; we can’t charge you an excessive amount), and we put up the bond. Your loved one is released from jail.
Now, you should be aware that you’ll still be responsible for $5,000 if your loved one doesn’t go to their court dates; so you should definitely make sure they get there. If something remarkable happens and they can’t make it to court (such as a medical emergency), you will need to contact both the bondsman and the court as soon as possible, so the court date can be reasonably rescheduled.
But you’ll only need to pay the small fee for now and you’ll be able to get your loved one out of jail as soon as possible. And that can avoid a lot of complications down the line, such as losing a job or not being able to attend school.
What Do You Need to Get a Bail Bond?
Before you call the bondsman, you should know where your loved one is being held (which jail) and what their bail amount is. Bail amounts aren’t always set immediately. Sometimes you might need to wait for a bail hearing. But letting us know that you’re going to be getting a bond shortly can help us start to prepare the paperwork while you wait. As always, our goal is the same as yours; getting your loved one out quickly.
For most bail bonds, there will just be a small fee attached, which is a percentage of the total bond amount. If you need a very large bail bond, you may be asked to put up collateral. Collateral is usually real property, such as a car or expensive jewelry. When it’s something like a car (or even a house), we don’t take the item; we just place a lien on it so it can’t be sold without us being aware. Collateral ensures that we can put the bond up without a substantial amount of risk to us.
When you need a bail bond is often when you’re least equipped to figure out the process. Let us help. Rather than you trying to figure out the bonding process yourself, you can get expert, professional help to get your loved ones out of jail fast. Contact us at D&D Bail Bonds today and we can get started.