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Determining your bail options in the arraignment

Immediately following the arrest the defendant gets taken into police custody and will be lodged in jail till a date is fixed for a bail hearing where it will be decided whether or not the accused stands to get bail approved. Such a hearing will normally be called the arraignment. Bail will be available either by way of a bail bond, a comprehensive payment upfront or by furnishing a property bond.

While all options have their merits and demerits, the bail bond furnished through registered bail bonding companies is by far the most preferred method of meeting bonding requirements. Essentially the bail bond is a way to ensure the continued cooperation of the client till the criminal activity he is accused of is resolved and judged in court. Without the bail bond there would be no reason for the defendant to obey the court and ensure his continued participation in court hearings. The bond acts as a ransom amount ensuring full compliance of the court’s conditions.

Seeking your freedom through the bail bond

By far the most popular method is the bail bond secured using the services of a bail bondsman or a bail bonding company. The services of the bail bondsman will be available for a fee or premium that usually touches 8% to 10% of the bail bond amount decided by the judge. Over and above the fee the balance amount of the bail bond will need guarantees usually taken in the form of collateral. This is a must as otherwise the bondsman will be liable to pay the bond money if the defendant flees the court and fails to live up to his commitments. There will be additional charges relating to court fees, paperwork, telephone calls and travelling expenses that the bondsman would be charging you. Normally, the bondsman would keep his fees and miscellaneous charges listed, and he will be happy to explain and share the charges with you. At any rate, it pays to know the costs before deciding your bail bondsman.

The collateral can assume literally any shape or form; it can be landed property, buildings, retirement funds, savings accounts deposits, shares and bonds, jewelry and cash.

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Making the comprehensive bail payment

This is the trusted recourse when you have sufficient funds in a savings account enough to make the full bail payment. This is normally the case when you are facing a smaller more affordable bail amount when it is a minor offense. The whole amount is paid up front. Using this procedure you can bypass the services of a bondsman and save on the 10% premium and miscellaneous charges that would otherwise become payable on the full bail amount. Another advantage of this system is that the whole bail amount is refunded to the defendant when he has appeared in all the hearings mandated by the court.

Posting bail leveraging the superior value of your property

If the defendant owns property he can use the asset value to furnish a property bail bond. For applying this bond you will need the services of an attorney well versed with property bond agreements and associated paperwork. An important requirement is that the property should be of sufficient value and be at least 150% of the full bail payment. Such property bonds can be executed efficiently if your title documents are ready and in verifiable condition. Submitting the paperwork for approval may take weeks but approval will be instantaneous once the formalities and procedures are fully complied with.

Whatever the circumstances attending your arrest and incarceration in jail, you will need help of a qualified and experienced attorney to drive you through the legal labyrinth of court settings, motions and conferences. When you are getting the feeling that your case is strong, a good lawyer can help you get charges dismissed or negotiate a plea bargain that ensures lighter sentencing. As a prelude to all of this, the bail bondsman will ensure you sail through the bond formalities so that you get your liberty and pursue the case with renewed vigor. The bondsman, drawing upon his vast experience of courts and court procedures, may also be in a better position to help you with suggestions regarding the best legal talent available that can fight your case to a successful conclusion.

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