How Do Bail Bonds Work?
If know someone who has been arrested recently, then you most likely know how bail bonds work. If you are currently in the process of getting someone bailed out then you have to remember that the law is based on one important principal – you are innocent until proven guilty. This means that even when you are arrested, you have certain rights that you are afforded. One of these rights is to be released on bail dependent on certain circumstances.
Normally a judge will hear the charges brought against you before deciding whether you qualify for bail and what the amount will be set at. If you fail to qualify, you will need to be held in jail until you can plead your case at a trial.
The judge will take into account the following aspects of the charges when deciding bail:
– The severity of the charges brought against you. The more severe the crime, the higher the bail amount will be.
– If you have been charged with the same or other crimes. Multiple charges may mean that the judge will deny bail, especially if they feel that letting you out of jail will result in another crime being committed.
– Determining whether you are a flight risk. If you have the means (financial or otherwise) to flee the state or the country and seem likely to run from the charges, you will not be granted bail.
The amount of bail that you will need to pay to be released from jail until you court date is not the amount that you will need to pay. The bond amount is normally 10%-15% of the bail amount. So if your bail amount is set at $10 000, you will need to pay $1,000-$1,500. In the Atlanta area, 15% is the going rate. However, if you flee the state and do not show up for your trial, the full amount will become due.
If you do not have the funds available to pay the bail bond, or cannot rely on family or friends, a bail bondsman may pay the amount on your behalf. It is then their duty to ensure that you present yourself for trial. If you do flee the state, the bail bondsman can send a bounty hunter after you to return you to jail. A warrant for your arrest for jumping bail will also be issued.
A bail bondsman will usually charge you 11%-15% of the total bail amount as their fee. They will require some type of surety, whether it be assets or some other type of collateral. The bail bondsman can sue you for the fee or attach your assets to ensure the fee is paid.
Whether you are convicted of the crime or if the charges against you are acquitted, the full amount paid for your bond will be returned. If you have fled and been returned to jail, the amount will still be returned. However, if you fail to appear in court and are not found, the bond amount will become forfeit. Keep in mind that the fee to a bail bondsman will still be due and will not form part of the amount that is returned to them by the court.
To locate a bail bonding company in a specific county, please visit Atlanta Bail Bonds Agents.