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How Does Bail Work?

When an individual is arrested there are several processes they must undergo, this including having their picture and fingerprints taken. While typically held in jail as they await their day in court, the accused will often have the opportunity to be released on bail.

How Does Bail Work?

Bail is a financial arrangement that allows criminal suspects to attain their temporarily freedom. When a person is arrested and brought before a judge, that judge will have to decide whether or not the arrested individual should be assigned bail.

Often those individuals that have either skipped previous court appearances or who, it is proved, seem to pose some sort of flight risk, typically as a result of the seriousness of their crime, will be denied bail.

In the absence of situations such as these, the suspect will be assigned bail and released until their next court date after meeting the requirements of the bail agreement.

The amount of money set by the judge for bail will vary based on various factors such as the crime and age of the individual, even the level of the suspect’s chances of fleeing. More serious crimes often attract steeper bail amounts.

Bail will manifest in one of two primary forms:

Cash bond– a cash bond will require an individual to pay the entire amount of the bail in cash before they can achieve their freedom. They will then have to make certain to make an appearance for all appointed court dates in order to receive a refund of the deposited cash bail, usually two months after an individual’s court obligations have been fulfilled. Missing one’s assigned court dates is tantamount to legally forfeiting the entirety of one’s cash bond to the court.

Judges will typically assign considerably large bail amounts so as to incentivize individuals to appear on their assigned court dates in the hopes of receiving a refund of their deposited cash bail.

Bail Bond– surety bonds are the most commonly utilized form of bail. In the instance that an individual is assigned bail but is incapable of meeting the financial requirements, there are companies that will meet the bail payments on behalf of the individual. In the event that the individual in question makes the necessary court appearances, the bond company expects to get a refund of their money , often charging 10% of this amount as a service fee.

There are risks involved with bail bonds, at least on behalf of the bond company; if the individual in question skips out on his court dates, then the bond company will end up losing the money they deposited.

It is for this reason that bond companies properly scrutinize potential clients and will expect every individual to present a co-signer whose role it will be to repay this bail money to the bond company in the case that the suspect skips town.

The role of co-signer is often scrutinized as seriously as the suspect seeking bail money; only those persons that can prove their ability to repay the bail money in the case of a suspect’s failure to show up for court can take up the mantle of co-signer.


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