How Does Bail Bonds Work? What Does it Mean to Post Bond for Someone?
Facing an arrest can be a frightening experience. Whether you’ve been arrested or you’re dealing with the arrest of a friend or loved one, it can be unsettling. It might also be difficult to know what to do or who to call.
As soon as you get into jail, your first thoughts could be, “how do I get out?” From drug crimes to assault, your offense can determine the options you have for getting out of jail while waiting for your court date.
If the judge grants bail for your release, it’s important to know how does bail bonds work. Follow this guide to learn more about bail bonds and what to do following an arrest!
What Happens After an Arrest?
If you’ve never had an arrest before, the process might be confusing. Police officers take you to jail, but you might not have to stay there if you can bail out.
After an officer places someone under arrest, they take you to jail. Before you end up in a jail cell, the detention center for booking. While you go through the booking process, stay calm, quiet, and cooperative. Saying or doing the wrong thing can increase your charges or cause a judge to deny bail.
When booking you into jail, officers request information about your name and address, take your fingerprints, your photo, and file paperwork with your charges. Police can also take and secure any belongings you have with you.
Following booking, the judge arraigns you. This should happen within twenty-four hours. However, if you face an arrest over the weekend, you might wait until Monday for your arraignment.
During the arraignment, the court files charges against you, and a judge decides if you’re eligible for bail.
What is Bail?
When a judge grants bail for the release of a loved one following an arrest, it’s an exchange of money for their freedom. Bail is the amount of money required to set someone free from jail until it’s time for a trial. If the judge doesn’t grant bail or no one can post the bail amount, a person must remain in jail until the court date.
Unless the judge requires cash bail only, there are options to bail someone out of jail.
If you have it, you can pay cash directly to the court for any type of bail. In most cases, to release someone on bail, you need the minimum down payment of 35% of the total amount required by Connecticut State Law.
With a cash-only bail, the judge requires the full amount of bail paid by cash or a secure credit or debit card before a defendant earns release from jail. This can be the case if the judge feels the defendant is a flight risk and sets a high bail amount. Cash bail can also be the requirement for low bail amounts related to minor misdemeanor charges.
In either case, a bail bondsman will not handle a cash-only bail amount. The risk is too high for large amounts, while the fees for low amounts won’t cover the time a bond agent puts into securing a defendant’s release.
If a judge feels like a defendant can handle a release from jail until trial without penalty, they can award bail on recognizance. This can happen with a first minor offense and enough support to show that the defendant has a job, ties to the community, and is responsible enough to show up for court.
You won’t need to pay anything for the bail release on recognizance.
In most cases, people turn to a bail bondsman for a defendant’s release on bail. A bail agent will pay the required 35% percent to the court. You or a loved one pays the bondsman that 35% plus a 10% non-refundable fee to cover the bond agent’s services. If the defendant shows up for the trial and completes the terms of their release, you can receive a refund of the 35% downpayment.
Bond agents provide a valuable service to post a bond on behalf of a defendant. If the person on bond release violates the terms of their release, the bonding agent is responsible to the court for the full amount of the bond and ensuring that the defendant shows up for court.
What To Do After An Arrest
When you go through the booking process, be sure to make your phone call. Call your lawyer or a loved one who can find a lawyer for you. That loved one or lawyer should also reach out to a bail bond agency right away.
During your phone call, give as much information as you can about your arrest, your charges, where you are, and when the jail officers estimate your arraignment will take place. With that information, a bail bonds agent can be present for your arraignment and work with your lawyer and the court for your bail release right away.
What To Do While Released On Bail
Bail is a conditional, temporary release from jail. Along with your freedom comes the conditions of staying out of jail while free on bail.
A defendant must follow all conditions that allow their freedom, including:
- Staying employed
- Avoiding drugs or alcohol
- Obey all laws
- No travel outside of a restricted area
- No weapons
- Avoiding the company of criminals and criminal activity
- Reporting to the court as required
- Showing up for the court date
A violation of any conditions of bail release can put a defendant back in jail until trial. Violations can also cause the court to deny a refund of part or all of any amount you paid toward the bail release.
Learning How Does Bail Bonds Work Can Get You Home Faster!
There’s no need to stay in jail any longer than you need to be there. Bail can get you, a friend, or a loved one home while you await trial. Know how does bail bonds work can expedite the process at a critical time. If you have questions or need help, contact us!