How Do Bail Bonds Work? This Is What You Need to Know

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Have you or one of your loved ones been arrested and placed in jail? Are you looking for ways to get them out of jail to prepare for their trial? Have you ever wondered “how do bail bonds work”? If so, then you need to learn more about the entire process.

The bail bond process is simple to understand, but it’s important to comprehend each step in greater detail. It’s not just a way to post bail, it’s much more than that. It provides accountability for the person that’s been arrested.

Here is an in-depth guide on how bail bonds work and what you can expect if you ever find yourself involved in the process.

How Do Bail Bonds Work?

One of the most important aspects of understanding how bail bonds work is by understanding the different steps to the bail bond process as a whole.

Be sure to read below for a brief synopsis of each step. Use them to determine which step in the process your loved one is currently at and how you can help them.

1. The Arrest

First things first, the entire process starts with your loved one having been arrested for a crime. They might’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol.

They will be booked for that crime and transported to the nearest facility where they can be placed in jail. From that point on, they will be considered a “defendant” and the trial process has technically begun.

2. The Arraignment

Once they’re placed in jail, the defendant (your loved one) will be held there until a judge can see them for the arraignment, or first court date.

This is when the judge will determine how much money is necessary in order for your loved one to post bail. There are a number of different factors that lead to the amount the judge will set.

They look at things such as what crime was committed, the amount of evidence the officer had, your loved one’s criminal history, how serious the crime is, etc. 

Don’t be surprised if the bail amount is surprisingly high. The judge will often set a high bail amount to keep your loved one accountable for appearing in court. If they don’t comply with their court dates, they’ll owe the full amount (and more) to their bail agent.

However, you might consider hiring a bail bond lawyer to see if the amount can be lowered to an achievable level.

3. The Bail

Now that the bail amount has been set, your loved one can start to decide how they prefer to pay the bail in order to be released from jail. Depending on the amount that’s assigned to their case, they might not have many options.

Even if they do have the money to pay it off out of their own pocket, doing so would be unwise. It can set them back financially, causing more harm than good.

Instead, hiring a bail bondsman will give them the opportunity to pay back only a small portion of the bond while the bail agent pays for the rest in order to release them. All your loved ones need to do to avoid paying more is comply with the court dates they’re given.

4. The Process After Payment

After the bail bondsman is hired and has paid off the bail amount that the judge has set, your loved one will be released from jail. 

However, the bail agent’s responsibility then becomes ensuring that your loved one attends all the court dates that are assigned to them. Not doing so will result in hefty fines, as well as an increased chance they’ll be sentenced to serve more jail time.

As long as your loved one attends all the necessary court dates, they won’t be liable for any additional payments on the bond. But if they don’t, then they’ll be charged the full amount plus additional fees by the bail agency.

What Is the Main Advantage to Bail Bonds?

Bail bonds are, first and foremost, to give a financial solution to those that have been put in jail for a crime. If bail bondsmen didn’t exist, your loved one might not have a way to be released from jail.

It’s an important step to getting their lives back on track for two reasons: 1) financial protection and 2) accountability. 

Your loved one will be able to return back to normalcy quicker since they won’t be held accountable for the entire bail amount. They’ll also be held in check by their bail agent to make sure they attend all necessary court dates to reach the best solution for their case.

How Can You Get a Bail Bond?

It’s all about finding the right bail bondsman for the job. You want to make sure you’re lining your loved one up with a bail agent that’s invested in their job.

Try to find a bail agent that’s task-oriented, someone that’s diligent with their schedule and will keep your loved one in-line with their needed court dates.

More importantly, you want someone that has exceptional communication skills. It’s not likely that you or your loved one has experience with the bail process. A trusted bail bondsman will fill you in on everything you need to know.

Find the Right Lawyer and Bail Agent for Your Needs

The best answer to your question of “how do bail bonds work?” is by finding a good balance between the right lawyer and the right bail agent.

They’ll work together to make sure your loved one attends all necessary court dates, avoids financial setbacks, and receives a second chance for their mistake.

Be sure to browse our website for more articles on the bail bond process, as well as many other helpful topics!