A key part of successfully giving a speech is making sure that you do the research that will be required in order to deliver a speech that will contain valuable information for your audience. You need to do your homework so that you can answer your audience’s questions before they even know that they have a question. Doing the research means that you are going to have to determine what options are available, how things work, and what your audience can do with the information that you are presenting to them. As an example, let’s say that you were going to give a speech on bail bonds and how they work. What would you have to know?
If you or a loved one is arrested, the last thing that you want to be asking yourself is how do bail bonds work? Bail bonds are a way to get released from police custody until your trial. Understanding how bail bonds work, and what you should be aware of when posting a bail bond, can help you avoid missing work or being separated from your family.
The following guide will walk you through what a bail bond is, the types of bonds that exist, and what you should do when you need one.
What Is a Bail Bond?
Bail is an amount of money that the court sets after you are charged with a crime or have a lawsuit brought against you. You can pay this amount yourself if you have the funds available so that the court releases you from jail. Bail acts as an insurance policy: if you don’t show up to your court date, you lose that bail money in addition to being charged with failing to show up.
However, bail amounts tend to be quite high, though they vary by state and by what the court charges you with. It may be outside of your financial means to pay bail yourself. That’s where bail bondsmen come in.
How Do Bail Bonds Work?
A bail bond is a bail paid by a bail bondsman to the court. It covers the full amount of your bail, but the bondsman will charge you a percentage (usually ten percent, but sometimes higher). You won’t get that ten percent back after you go to court, but you also won’t have to put up the full bail amount yourself.
In most cases, you will have to put collateral up against your bond. This can include your car, stocks, or other valuable assets that you may have, depending on the value of the bail bond. Depending on your financial situation, you may need to get someone to sign as a guarantor for your bond.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can skip your court date. If you do that, the bail agent can charge you more fees, and you will still be arrested again for skipping bail. The bondsman will also be able to seize any collateral that you’ve put up against the value of your bond.
Once you have posted bail, there are usually other requirements that you need to follow before your trial so you don’t forfeit the bond. For example, the court may give you a no-contact order, which means that you can’t talk to certain people before your trial. You usually are also not allowed to break any other laws: another arrest can lead to the court taking your bond and makes it much harder to be granted bail in the future.
Finding a local bail bondsman is relatively straightforward, but you want to make sure that you’re not getting overcharged. There’s nothing wrong with talking to several bondsmen and getting different quotes to see what is the most affordable.
Types of Bail Bonds
While all types of bail bonds do the same thing – get you out of jail and back with your family – there are a few differences that you should be aware of. Different bail bonds apply to different cases.
Cash Bail Bonds
Cash bail bonds, as described above, are the most common type of bail bond. This is what you go to a bondsman for when you can’t meet cash bail on your own.
They are used for state-level crimes in every state except for Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, and Wisconsin. In these states, bail bondsmen are illegal, and defendants pay their bonds directly to the court.
Property Bail Bonds
If you’re in California, you may be eligible to use a property bail bond instead of going through a bondsman if you don’t have the money for cash bail. Unlike cash bail bonds that are secured with collateral, property bail bonds put the entire value of an asset up to the court as if it were cash.
You won’t be on the hook for any money, and won’t be charged any fees by the court. However, if you miss your court date or violate court orders, you lose that property.
Immigration Bail Bonds
If Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrest you for an immigration violation, you’re in a different situation. Since you likely don’t have assets or cash in the United States, and a lack of legal status, you will need to get a permanent resident or US citizen to post the bond for you.
An immigration bail bond will always be set through a bail hearing, which is a meeting with the judge on your case. They will evaluate if you are a flight risk or danger to society, and set bail according to that.
There are two types of immigration bail bonds. The first is a delivery bond and functions similar to a criminal bail bond. You are allowed to leave ICE custody, so long as you return for your hearing date.
A voluntary departure date, on the other hand, releases you from custody, but under the agreement that you have to leave the country. If you fail to leave, the bond is forfeit to the court and if ICE
For immigration bonds, you need to speak to a specialized immigration bail bondsman. They’ll be more familiar with the process than a regular bondsman.
A Bondsman Should Be Your First Call After an Arrest
If you’ve been arrested, one of the first things that you should do is talk to a bail bondsman. Doing so quickly minimizes the amount of time that you have to spend in jail, and gets you back to your family as soon as possible. Now that you have the answer to the question “how do bail bonds work,” you’ll be able to navigate getting a bail bond confidently.
If you have more questions about your legal case or posting bail, be sure to scroll through our blog. We have tons of resources tailored to different types of cases, from automotive accidents to child custody cases.