Understanding What a Bail Bond Is?
A Bail Bond is a process used to secure the release of a defendant who is awaiting trial for a criminal charge or sometimes traffic offenses. In short, a Bail Bond is a guarantee to the court that the defendant or accused will appear in court to answer to the charge they are accused of. In most cases, a family member or friend of the defendant will be the one who makes the initial contact with the Bail Bondsman to secure a bail bond. Most Bail Bond Companies do not allow the defendant to bail themselves out of jail and will need a family member or friend to Indemnify (sign, be liable) the bond on behalf of the defendant.
What Type of Bonds Are There?
Typically there are three types of bonds a judge or magistrate will set for a defendant.
Number one is an OR Bond,
The first one is known as an OR Bond, which stands for, Own Recognacense. This type of bond means that the defendant is released on their own promise (signature) to appear in court and will not have to pay any money to be released.
Number two is a 10% bond through the court
The second type of bond a judge or magistrate will set is a 10% Bond. This type of bond means that a family member or friend can go directly to the court or jail and pay the 10% directly to the court without needing a bail bondsman. With this type of bond, the person who pays the 10% is still guaranteeing the defendant will show up to court. If the defendant shows up to court and finishes the case the person who paid the 10% will receive most of the 10% back minus a percentage that the court keeps for themselves. In some instances, the remaining 10% will be applied to the defendant’s court cost and o(or) fines.
And number three is a Surety Bail Bond (Bail Bond)
Finally, the third type of bond is a Surety Bail Bond, commonly known as a Bail Bond. This type of bond is when the court is requiring the full amount of the bond to be secured by a Bail Bonds Company (Bail Bondsman) and Surety. (A Surety is the Insurance Company that is contracted with the Bail Bonds Company and Agent) This type of bond is where a Bail Bondsman contracts with a family member or friend to secure the release of the defendant from jail and guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear in court. Most states regulate the fees or percentage a Bail Bondsman charges for this service, typically it is 10%. Some courts will also require the court cost and (or) state fee to be paid at the time the bail bond is posted. this process is not as cut and dry as some may assume. When a family member or friend agrees to indemnify (Indemnify – a contract or promise to make the Bail Bonds Company and Surety Whole Again if the defendant fails to appear in court and bond forfeited) the bond they are signing liability that the defendant will appear to all court dates until that case is finished. If the defendant Fails To Appear (FTA) then that family member or friend (Indemnitor) is liable to pay the entire amount of the bond plus any fees or cost back to the Bail Bonds Company and Surety. As long as the defendant appears to all court dates and finishes the case, then the family member or friend will have no further monetary obligation to the Bail bondsman, Bond Company, or Surety. Only if the defendant fails to appear in court and the bond forfeited by the court will make the Indemnitor be liable for the bond and cost.