The Basics of Bail Bonds – Your Questions Answered

The bail bond system allows defendants who’ve been arrested for a particular crime to be released from police custody pending their trials. It’s a legal agreement that involves paying a certain amount of money to the courts as a guarantee that the defendant will make their expected court appearances. A third party, like the Connecticut Bail Bonds Group, usually steps in when the defendant is unable to raise the necessary funds to post bail. Such a party fronts the defendant the money needed for bail in return for a percentage of it.

If you or a loved one are in legal trouble and require bail bond services, you may have certain questions about different aspects of the process.

Below are some common questions about bail bonds and their answers.

How Does the Bail Bonds Process Work?

From the moment you’re arrested, you’ll be remanded in custody until your case is heard before a judge. Depending on several other factors like the number of cases to be tried, this may take a few days or weeks. You’ll likely not want to wait around in a jail cell for the trial. The judge will set a certain amount of money as a condition for your release pending trial. If you cannot afford this amount of money, you’ll contact a bail bonds company to help you. The bail bondsmen working for such a company must be licensed to provide such services in that particular jurisdiction.

The bail bonds company will need to ascertain that you have enough assets to match the value of your bail (in cash). If you don’t have the necessary assets, you can turn to friends and family. The bail bonds company then makes a written agreement with the court to settle your full bail amount. Only then will you be released from custody. A crucial part of this agreement is that you will show up for every court appearance and live up to any obligations required by the legal system.

The bail company typically charges a fee upfront before handling your case. This is usually about 10% of the bail amount. For example, if the judge sets your bail at $30,000, the bail bonds company will require $3,000 upfront before promising to pay your full bail amount later.

Do Bail Bonds Companies Accept Credit Cards?

Like most other businesses, bail bond companies have come to recognize that a lot of people utilize credit cards to pay for numerous expenses. As such, many of them accept credit card payments during the bail bonds process.

What is Meant By Forfeiture and Reinstatement?

Forfeiture is when you, the defendant, fail to appear for a court date. In addition to this, failing to comply with any of the conditions set by the court also amounts to a forfeiture. In such instances, a warrant (usually called a ‘bench warrant’) is issued for your arrest. Of course, missing a court date is grounds for losing your bail money.

A bond reinstatement can occur if you can prove to the court that there were extenuating circumstances that led to you missing your court date. A new court date will be set. Always remember that additional fees might need to be paid to the bondsman with each forfeiture.

What are Bonds Conditions?

Among the terms and conditions of bail, the primary one is keeping all your court appearances and any other legal obligations. Of course, the defendant will be expected to refrain from engaging in any criminal activities. Other conditions may include not going beyond the borders of a particular jurisdiction. For example, the judge may order you to remain within the state pending the outcome of your trial. In cases involving domestic violence or aggravated assault, you may be required to keep a certain distance from a particular individual’s residence or place of business. A restraining order may be issued to that effect.

What is Collateral?

This is anything that you put up as a guarantee to prevent the bail bonds company from losing their money. Without collateral, no bail bonds company will be willing to handle your case. You can always seek the assistance of friends and family members to help you with putting up collateral. Collateral can be in the form of title deeds of a property, jewelry, vehicles, paintings, stock certificates, etc. A written contract between you and the bail bonds company will need to be created to certify the collateral switched parties. The bail bonds company will issue a receipt to that effect.