Should You Use Bail Bonds

For those who have never used bail bonds before, there is often the concern about whether or not they should give them a try during situations where a loved one may be imprisoned. If you are concerned about your loved one or you are uncertain of how long they may be imprisoned without the use of a bail bond, then you should get in contact with a local bail bond agency. Generally speaking, no one wants to stay in jail if they don’t have to -- this is especially true if you have committed a minor crime or if there has been a misunderstanding with the law. Unless you want your loved one to stay in jail until they are able to get a hearing, which may be detrimental, it’s generally the best choice to bail them out.

The amount that you may have to pay for the bail can vary. Sometimes it’s set by the court and other times it’s dependent upon the amount of criminal activity that the individual in question has had in their history. In most cases, bail bond agencies will work with you to make the process more simple. If you don’t have all of the money in cash, then you may be able to use some form of collateral to cover the bail for your loved one instead. If you communicate what you are able to afford to the agency, they are generally willing to work out a plan to help you post bail based on your situation.

Understanding Bail Bonds

A bail bond, also known as a surety bond, is defined as a “formal, legally enforceable contract between a first party (the principal or obligor), a second party (the customer or obligee), and a third party (the surety, such as a bank, bonding company, or insurance company) whereby the surety guarantees payment of a specified maximum sum, or to otherwise compensate (indemnify), the obligee against damage or loss caused by the actions (or a failure to perform) of the obligor)." Bail bonds guarantee that the defendant will appear in court every time that he or she is ordered to do so based on requests by the court.

If the defendant doesn’t attend court as requested, then the bond will be forfeited and the defendant will be issued an arrest warrant. The statutes for this vary from state to state, although in most cases the defendant will be subject to apprehension and arrest. The cost for bail bonds tend to vary from state to state and may be based on statutory rates or rates that have been filed by the insurance company that has underwritten the bond. Depending on the defendant’s criminal history (if any), collateral may be needed. A collateral receipt should be provided when the bond is written. The return of the collateral is based on statutes in most states; it should be held in trust for the party that is arranging the bail.

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