You have probably heard of bail when someone is in custody awaiting a court hearing. This is an agreement between a defendant and the court. Here's some basic information on bail bonds.
How Do Bail Bonds Work?
When you're arrested, you should appear in court on a specific date known as the hearing date. The judge will set an amount for your bail. This means you'll be free from custody after paying the bail amount while you wait for the hearing date. If you don't have any money for bail and none of your relatives or friends can afford your bail, you can go to a bail bond dealer.
However, you have to raise a small fraction of the bail amount which you'll pay the bail bondsman. The bail bonds agency will pay the rest of the amount. When the bail bondsman pays your bail, it's their responsibility to ensure you don't miss your court hearing.
If you fail to attend the hearing, your bail bondsman should find you and return you to court. There's a certain period within which you should report to court so the bondsman can retrieve the bail money.
If you fail to show up and the bail bondsman cannot find you, the courts will take the money paid by the bail bonds agent. Since the bail bonds agency requires collateral to pay for your bail, they'll take over the property you offered as collateral. This is why you should appear in court so the bail bond agency receives their money and you get back your collateral.
Types of Bonds
The main types of bonds are surety bonds, property bonds, release on own recognizance, cite out, and immigration bonds. A surety bond involves dealing with an insurance company. This means the insurance companies will post the bail amount. In a property bond, your property takes the place of the cash amount for bail. The court will place a lien on your property and may sell it if you skip the court hearing.
Both release on own recognizance and cite out don't involve any bail payments. In the former, the judge will release you without setting an amount for bail. However, this only applies to low-level crimes. If you're found guilty for an illegal act in a cite out bond, the officer will issue you a citation requiring you to attend a court hearing instead of putting you in custody.
Lastly, there's an immigration bond that applies to persons who are in the custody of the immigration and customs enforcement department. In this case, the accused person has to pay an immigration bond to be released until the date of their court hearing.
For more information, contact a bail bond agency.