If it were not for the provision of bail the defendant would remain behind bars till trial commences and lose much freedom to consult advocates and marshal resources to fight punishment and eventual incarceration, and much worse lose his job and income. Any person including the defendant, his family or friends is welcome to post bail. Sometimes it could be well neigh impossible for the accused to raise high bail amounts, and in such instances the bail bondsman offers to post a bail bond on payment of a bail bond premium of around 10% of the full bail amount.
Arrest and aftermath
Bail proceedings outlined
The U.S. Constitution and the Justice administration system ensures protection to an accused in any crime by prescribing the process of bail, whereby the accused or an agent acting on his behalf executes a bail bond, usually payable as cash, as surety for ensuring the defendant’s continued appearance in court for trial.
After the arrest and “booking” of the crime and subsequent incarceration of the accused the court (usually within 48 hours) sets the arraignment for bond or bail bond hearing, the purpose of which is to decide the bail plea of the accused and also set the bail bond amount. If the charges are minor and not serious in nature and the accused is judged to be unlikely to stymie the efforts of the court or abscond from future hearings, the judge may decide to release the accused “on his own recognizance”, or written undertaking, avoiding bail altogether.
The bail bond hearing in a nutshell
The arraignment or bond hearing is not to be construed as a trial, and there won’t be any cross examination of witnesses or tabulation of evidences, and its intended purpose is not to establish whether the accused is guilty or innocent of the crime. The sole purpose of the hearing is to decide whether bail is approved or denied to the accused looking to the seriousness of the crime. To decide matters, the judge would pay close attention to the defendant’s previous crime records (if any), warrants served in the past, financial standing and ties binding him to the community (home, family, friends and a steady job, for example). The defendant’s attorney will play a crucial role in convincing the judge through his nuanced representation that the accused bears excellent character and fosters good community ties to be worthy of bail. An opportunity will also be given to the prosecution to present their arguments why bail should be denied.
Outcome of the bail bond hearing
If the crime is of a sufficiently serious nature and the judge feels that releasing the accused could pose a danger to society, or that the accused may be emboldened to tamper with the evidence, the judge may deny bail.
The most common procedure is to consult the court’s bail bond schedule to decide the exact amount of bail that has to be posted in respect of specific crimes mentioned in the schedule. If the schedule doesn’t cover the crime, the judge enjoys the discretion to decide the final bail amount. The bail amount differs according to the seriousness of the crime; the greater the seriousness of the crime, the higher the bail amount.
Either the accused pays bail directly from his own resources or he leverages a bail bond company to arrange the bail amount on payment of a premium amount that could be anywhere near 10% of the total bail amount. The bail bondsman could ask for collateral to provide this service where bail amounts are unusually high and where the accused is presumed to be a higher flight risk.
The defendant is free to walk out of jail and resume his normal life but on the specific understanding that he will appear in court hearings when required to do so. If the accused keeps his date with hearings till their successful conclusion, the bail amount paid earlier is refunded to the accused (if he paid it himself) or to the agency that paid the bond money. In the latter scenario the agency deducts the premium (10%) before returning the collateral to the accused. In the event that the defendant fails to appear in court a fresh warrant is issued for his arrest, the court claims the bond amount, and the agency moves in to dispose the collateral provided by the accused as bond security.
In choosing a bail bond company it is important to favor firms that are richly experienced with higher levels of professionalism. You also need to ensure that the firm is trustworthy and reliable and treats all its clients with utmost respect and confidentiality. Realizing that each individual presents a unique case we are go the extra mile to ensure private and personalized service. We have no hesitation in offering solutions that are holistically tuned to your financial situation. We have licensed bondsman willing to share complete information and help you chose the best options in your legal battle. For satisfying your immediate legal needs we are accessible through Fountain Valley (CA) and our experienced and licensed bondsmen are at your beck and call whenever the need arises.