Frequently Asked Questions
What are my options if I am arrested in terms of getting out of jail?
There are three options for release of a defendant:
A. Surety Bond (a bail bond)
- You can use a bondsman to purchase a bond. This means that you will pay a fee and may need to use some form of collateral.
B. Cash Bond
- You can post cash for the full amount of the bond with the court or jail;
C. Release On Own Recognizance (O.R.)
- A watch commander or a judge can decide to let the defendant go on their Own Recognizance (O.R.)
How Long Is The Bail Process?
The paperwork takes approximately 10 – 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of the transaction. The release time can be one hour or less for local police stations and 6-12 hours in a county jail. Please remember that these times are not guaranteed but general time frames.
What is Collateral?
Collateral is real or personal property pledged to the Bail Agency, used to secure the bail amount in the event the defendant does not appear for any of his/her court proceeding(s). Essentially, collateral is a way of insuring the defendant will go back to court and complete his/her obligation to the court. The collateral is returned to the rightful owner once the defendants’ case is finalized.
What Do Bondsmen Accept As Collateral?
Each bonding office will have there own standards but, for the most part they will take:
- Real estate
- Credit cards
- Personal credit
- Bank accounts
- Art work
Can I finance the bail bond fee/premium?
Yes. We do offer payment plans for those who qualify at NO interest.
We accept the following forms of payment:
- Master Card
- American Express
- Personal, Cashier’s, or Traveler’s Checks
Do I get my money back after the case is over?
Bail premium is non-refundable. The premium is fully earned once the defendant is released from custody. Furthermore, while out on a bail bond if the defendant gets arrested for another charge, premium is not refunded.
Can the defendant leave the state or country while out on bond?
The defendant needs to obtain travel authorization from the Bail Bond Agency. Moreover, in some jurisdictions the court instructs defendants not to leave the state. The Bail Agency cannot override the Courts authority.
What happens if the defendant fails to appear in court?
Firstly, a bench warrant is issued for the person’s arrest by the judge. The defendant’s name is then entered into a nation wide data base (NCIC) as a fugitive. Also, the Bail Agency is informed of the defendants non-appearance and obligated by law to arrest the individual.
What happens if the case continues over a year?
It is seldom that a criminal case takes more then a year. In such circumstances, renewal premium might have to be paid to the bail agency if the judge requires a new bond. However, the court may grant a bail amount reduction or a release on O.R. in some cases, which would not require a new bond.
What happens if the defendant gets arrested while out on bond?
Contact our agency as soon as possible. There are various options available in this circumstance.
Are some Bail Agents less expensive than others?
Bail Agents are licensed by the Department of Insurance. The D.O.I regulates that the contractual rate between a bail bond agency and their surety company is what is charged. That rate may vary usually between 8 – 10%.
What information should I have before I contact the bail agent?
A. Where is the person in custody? Make sure that you ask the person in custody where they are located (city, state and name of jail).
B. What is the full name and booking number of the person in jail? The bail agent will need this information in order to contact the jail. The bail agent can get the booking number for you if you don’t have that information.
C. How much is the bail? The bail agent will get this information when they contact the jail if you do not have it. With the bail amount the agent can tell you the amount it will cost to post a bond and get the person out of jail.
At what point is the co-signer no longer liable for the bond?
The co-signer is no longer liable for the defendant’s bond when the defendant completes all of their court appearences and all premiums have been paid. It is best to contact our agency when the bond is exonerated by the court. This allows the fast return of any collateral pledged and also confirms that the bond is exonerated. In the event of forfeiture, the indemnitor is liable until the full amount of the bail has been paid, plus any expenses incurred or until the court exonerates the bond, which then becomes void.