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Guides to Bail for Jail

The federal government mandates the process of obtaining a bail bond with only a few laws falling to the states. The process of obtaining a bail bond is generally the same, but the fact that the states have some control over certain aspects of the process, may change the process slightly. There are also several regulations and rulings that are at the discretion of a judge or at the discretion of the bail bondsman themselves. The fact that several governing bodies can control various aspects of the process, bail itself can become a bit confusing. BailforJail.com has made the process of understanding bail bonds on a federal and state level easier with our state bail guides. These guides will discuss the process of obtaining bail, what state regulations may be in place and the regulations or guidelines that can be determined by the bail bondsman at the time bail is rendered. BailforJail.com also offers several guides on the process of becoming a certified bail bondsman, skip tracer or bounty hunter for bail bonds associations. 

Guides


The bail bond process has not changed much over the last few decades. In fact, federal rather than state laws govern most of the bail bond process. With that in mind, there is still a basic process for bail bonds and receiving a bail bond in Alabama. Though most of the rulings are federal there are some procedures that are specific to each state including Alabama. This guide will go over how to obtain a bail bond in Alabama, any specific regulations regarding bail bonds in Alabama, collateral and cosigners for bail bonds in Alabama and other related information to the bail bonds process including what is required for an individual to become a certified bail bondsman in the state of Alabama. This guide serves not only individuals interested in the bail bond process of becoming a bail bondsman but also individuals who may need a bail bond in the future.

Before we get started, there is some basic information that needs to be covered regarding bail bonds. The following are the types of bonds that are available in Alabama. It is important to know these types of bail bonds in order to receive the proper bail bond for your situation and to be prepared for that situation should arise.

Cash Bail Bonds

A cash bail bond is a bail but simply means that the individual pays cash for the amount of bail set. This is done through the court system and through the bail bonds office. A cash bail bond is generally handled through cash, checks or credit card depending on the court system and what is decided. In some cities of Alabama and in some counties a cash bail bond does not require an actual bail bondsman. However, there are still some counties that do require a bail bondsman to be present.

Surety Bond

A Surety Bond is the most common form of bail bond. This is a bail bond is offered throughout the country and is generally covered under different federal mandates. A surety bond can be used on any amount of bail but is set by the court system. A surety bond has a specific method of application process which will be discussed later in this guide.

Citation Bond

A citation bond is also known as a cite out. This type of bond is generally used when a suspect is not booked into the county or city system and is given a citation. The citation requires the individual must appear in court. This is generally used in cities or counties in the state of Alabama that have an overflow of prisoners in their county or city jails and it is to avoid the booking procedure. If there is an overflow in the system and the violation is not a felony violation, then a citation is usually the most common form of bond. Though in general, a citation bond does not require the use of an Alabama bail bondsman, it still does run through the Alabama bond service.

Release on Recognizance

A release on recognizance is deemed by the court system. This means that individual is released by the judge’s mandate but may show up for court dates. In this situation if an individual is released on their own personal recognizance they may or may not have to pay bail. It is completely up to the judge however in most cases the judge does not require the individual to pay bail so long as they show up for their mandated court dates. These are generally given when it charges a minor nonviolent charge and the individual is not considered a flight risk.

Property bond

A property bond is a bail bond in the state of Alabama that uses a lien from the court on property. If you own your land or your home and you need a bail bonds due to a legal issue, then you may put your property up through the court with a lien. You will need to pay off the line in order to have it removed from the court system.

This guide will primarily discuss Surety Bonds. The reason for this is due to the fact that this is the most common bond used in the state of Alabama and is the most common bond where a bail bondsman will need to be used. Surety bonds are the most common form of bond that a bail bondsman will also be dealing with as well.

What to know about a Surety Bond

There are several things an individual should know about Surety Bonds before a bail bonds process is necessary. These facts regarding Surety Bonds are necessary for an individual who may need to obtain a bond or for the bail bondsman. The following are just of few of the things that you will need to know regarding Surety Bonds.


Payment Plan

The best way for an individual to look at the prospect of obtaining a Surety Bond is to look at a payment plan. These types of bonds are offered for individuals who cannot pay the bond amount outright. If you are arrested in the state of Alabama and you need to obtain a Surety Bond, you would first contact a bail bondsman in the area. Bail bondsman can be found in various ways and those ways will be discussed later in this guide. Once you have contacted a bail bond agent or bail bondsman you will then be taken through the steps of obtaining this type of bond.

Payment in Some Form

This type of bond requires a payment in some form to be made. This payment can be in the form of property, collateral or cash. It will not be the full amount of the bond. For example, if the bond is $100,000 then the amount that an individual would have to pay could be as much as 15% of that amount. This amount will need to be paid prior to the bond being signed and the individual being released from jail. If the individual cannot pay this amount they will have to find some way to cover the amount that will work with the bail bondsman and what they need.

Co-Signers

Cosigners can be used on this type of bond. A cosigner would be someone who is able to put up the money for you, the collateral for you or the person who is signing for you. In many cases a cosigner will be required in order for the individual to obtain the bail bond. A cosigner is the individual who will be contacted from the jail and will go to handle all of the paperwork required. There is certain information a cosigner will need in order to be able to fill out the application for the individual in jail. This guide will discuss what information cosigners will need to give to the bail bondsman.

Forfeiting of the Bond and Jail Time

When an individual agrees to go through the process of this bond with the bail bondsman in Alabama, they will need to adhere to certain rules. The main rule is that the individual will show up for court. If the individual shows up for court then their bail bond will be covered. However, if the individual skips bail or jumps bail then they will be forfeiting on the bond and the bail bondsman can then pick them up. If they are difficult to find a bounty hunter may get involved. If the individual will be picked up and taken back to jail and a bail bond will not be able to be issued again. The individual will have to remain in jail until their court hearing which could take months or up to a year depending on the part of Alabama and how many court cases are preceding the particular court case of the inmate.

Information a Co-Signer Must Have

If you're using a cosigner in order to obtain a bail bond, there is certain information that the cosigner will need to have. The following is the information the cosigner will need to have or may need to have in order to file an application in the state of Alabama for bail bonds.

The Fee

The first and most important thing a cosigner will need when they go to the bail bond office is the fee amount due to the bail bondsman. They will usually be able to inform the inmate at the time the inmate discusses the bail bond with them. The inmate will have this information in order to give to the cosigner. The cosigner must have either the collateral or the money in order to cover the initial fee. It should be noted, that there are some bail bondsman in the state of Alabama that will allow a payment lien on the fee if the individual qualifies for a form of financing. This is offered only at the discretion of the bail bondsman and may not be offered across the state or by every bail bondsman in the state. This is one of the few rulings that is not federally mandated and is mandated by the bail bondsman and the bond company only.

Personal Information

Personal information on the inmate will be required. The cosigner will need to have the person's first middle and last name, Social Security number, address, phone number, any known addresses the last few years and possibly any other known phone numbers. The cosigner may also be required to produce any type of information on where the individual works. Remember, that the bail bondsman will need to be able to contact the individual at any given time this means they will need to be able to contact them at work, school, home and while the individual is on the road for cell phone service. If the cosigner does not have this information the bail bondsman may still be able to work with them, however the bail bondsman will be asking for this information and at the discretion of the bail bondsman may decide not to grant bail if the information is not present. If for any reason the bail bondsman feels that they cannot contact the individual once the individual is released from jail they can deny the bond or they can set certain guidelines and limits to the bond. This guide will discuss what guidelines may be set by the bail bondsman in order for the individual to receive bail.

Charges

The charges against individual must also be presented at the time of the bail bond meeting. The cosigner will need to know what the person is being brought up on charges for and any related offenses that may have happened prior to this event. For example, if the individual is being brought in on drug possession with intent to distribute and they have a previous misdemeanor or felony related to drugs, then the bail bondsman will need to know this. This is also an issue where the federal law mandates that the bail bondsman and must know the charges and any related or previous charges, but the bill bondsman may choose to deny or accept the bail bond at their own discretion. If an individual lies about charges or if charges are not given properly then this may disrupt the bail bond and cause the individual to go back to jail with no bond being able to be rendered at a later date. It is very important that all charges are given in an honest manner and all connected charges are also stated.

Possible Guidelines

As with other aspects of the bail bond system, there are certain federal laws that govern bail bonds altogether. However, there are certain guidelines that a bail bondsman can set their own discretion. In order to be fully prepared for this process, it is important that you are aware of what the possible guidelines are and what may be expected of you from a bail bondsman as either a cosigner or the individual who was out on bond. The following are few of these guidelines.

Revoking the Bond

Remember, that at any time it is up to the bail bondsman if they want to allow for the bond to go through. An individual may have a cosigner, the money and everything that is required in order to get the bond. However, if the bail bondsman does not want to extend the bond it is up to them to revoke the bond and not offer the bond at all. This is a stipulation that may be connected to previous arrests, warrants or other issues dealing with the individual facing charges. If this occurs, the cosigner may go to another bail bondsman and try to get the bail bond from them.

Requiring a Co-Signer

The requirement of a cosigner is not a federal mandate. However, many bail bondsmen do require a cosigner. The main reason for this is due to the fact that it decreases the work for the bail bondsman initially but it also gives them another point of contact for the individual. If the individual jumps bail then the cosigner will be the first one who is held liable for the money as well as the first one contacted by the bail bondsman. It allows the bail bonds to have a solid individual to contact in case of emergency or in case of an issue. This is one of the reasons that many individuals do not like becoming a cosigner because they are unsure of what may happen if the individual facing charges becomes scared or decides to go on the run.

Scheduled Check-Ins

Scheduled check-ins are another guideline that may be suggested or put into place by the bail bondsman. This is completely at the bail bondsman's discretion. There is no federal law that states an individual must check in with the bail bondsman other than to obtain the bail bond and to meet the bail bondsman at court on the specific court date. However, many bail bondsman will set different guidelines for scheduled check ins depending on the flight risk of the individual. If they feel like the individual is a very difficult contact and may be a flight risk than they may set scheduled check ins as much as three times per day. There are other bail bondsmen who may set a scheduled call in time per week or make a house visit each week. It all depends on the bail bondsman what they feel is an appropriate measure for the individual.

Many bail bondsman will have bounty hunters or individuals who will go out to the home or keep track of the contact with the individual out on bond. If the individual misses a court date they are automatically having their bond revoked and they go to jail. If an individual misses several checks and then this could result a bounty hunter looking for them. There are several different repercussions to an individual not meeting the scheduled check-in's. Remember, that this is completely up to the bail bondsman and at their discretion as to how often individual check-in and by what method the individual will check-in.

Becoming a Bail Bondsman in Alabama

For those individuals interested in becoming a bail bondsman Alabama, there are several steps that need to be taken. It should be noted, that many individuals are officers or corrections officers who decide to get into bail bonds work. Private investigators, skip tracers and bounty hunters may also decide to get into bail bonds work. It should be noted that in Alabama there are several rulings and several steps to becoming a bail bondsman within the state. The following are a few of the steps.

Basic Requirements

For an individual to become a bail bondsman Alabama the first requirement is an individual must be a resident of the state. Though there are no specific dates for how long individual must be a resident of the state, it is generally assumed that an individual has been a resident of the state of Alabama for at least six months or more when they filed to become a bail bondsman. You must also have enough money or net worth to cover the bail amounts that you will be lending out. You may not have a felony on your record, no financial issues including bankruptcy, and you may not have had any criminal procedures that are in violation within the last two years. These are the basic requirements required for an individual to register as a bail bondsman with the local clerk in the state of Alabama. There are several basic requirements.

Application

If an individual meets all the requirements of the basic requirement procedures for bail bondsman in Alabama, then they can contact their local clerk of courts office. The local clerk of courts office is located within their County seat. By contacting the County Courthouse you may find out to the clerk of court is and how to obtain the application to become a bail bondsman. This application must be filled out in full and the individual must meet all requirements that are listed on the application. It should be noted, that there may be several other requirements that are not listed as part of basic requirements depending on the county or city that the individual will be operating in. If the individual plans on hiring bounty hunters, there may be an additional application or other requirements required by the state and the county.

Renewal

There is a basic renewal process in the state of Alabama for bail bondsman. Every year a bail bondsman must do an annual authorization in order to keep your business running. An annual authorization requires an affidavit, financial certainty, power of attorney documents for bail and the agents as they relate to the working of the business.

Documentation

There are also several pieces of documentation that are required for a bail bondsman to remain in business. For example, a bail bondsman must have a document known as a bondsman's process. This document is obtained for each defendant that made bail. This is primarily for an authorization to arrest a bail jumper as a bail bondsman. This does not remove the bail bondsman from any fiscal responsibility but does allow the bill bondsman to bring in the individual for arrest.

In closing, individuals who want to become a bail bondsman Alabama or who are seeking the bail bonds process in Alabama must remember that the vast majority of the rules are federal. The remaining guidelines and rules that are set by the bail bondsman are at their own discretion. This is a pure discretionary tactic that bail bondsman will use in order to protect their own assets as well as individuals.

Copyright 2020 by BailforJail
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