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What Is Bail?

Understanding the Bail Bond Process

When a person is arrested for a crime, the police and the courts will typically want to keep that person in custody to ensure that he or she will show up at any subsequent hearings and stand trial if the case proceeds that far. They want to make sure that the suspect will not flee prosecution for the crime by leaving the jurisdiction. To do see to it that the defendant will be feel compelled to return to court and to remain within the jurisdiction, the judge will most often require the individual to post bail as a condition of securing an early release from jail.

The defendant, a family member or another representative will deposit the bail amount with the court, which will then hold it as security against the defendant’s release. If he or she violates the terms of release, such as by failing to appear in court at a subsequent hearing, the bail money will be forfeited. If, on the other hand, he or she shows up for every required court appearance and abides by any other terms, the money will be refunded in full. The amount of bail is usually set at a high enough amount of money-or personal property of equivalent value-that the defendant will not likely be willing to violate the terms of the release and forfeit the bail.

For less serious offenses, this is often in the range of hundreds of dollars, but as the severity of the offense increases the bail amount can rise into the thousands, tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands. In the most serious cases, the judge may even deny bail. There is also the possibility that the judge may grant a release on the suspect’s own recognizance, which is also referred to as a personal recognizance release (O.R. release). In an O.R. release, the suspect simply promises to reappear in court when required to do so.

Your Options for Posting Bail

There are two common approaches to paying the amount of bail and securing a release from custody: you can either pay a cash bail or you can hire a Sarasota bail bond agent. If you choose to pay the cash bail, you will be required to pay the full amount set by the judge, which may involve emptying your savings account, taking treasured possessions to a pawn shop, using a credit card or even borrowing money from friends or family. If you choose to hire a bail bondsman, you will only have to pay a bond premium, which is normally only 10 percent of the full amount. For example, if the bail is set at $15,000, you can either pay the full amount or pay only $1,500. The advantage of the cash bail is that you will most likely get the full amount refunded at the conclusion of the case, but on the other hand you will have to find a way to come up with all the money immediately. By paying a bond premium, you can avoid this difficulty. To learn more about the bail bond process, contact us now at A Way Out Bail Bonds II Inc. We can typically complete all the paperwork in as little as 15 minutes and we are ready to help you now.