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Bail Bond Process

Bail Bond Process

Having your close ones arrested and locked up in a jail can be very traumatizing for any family. This article elaborates on different factors related to bail bond process viz., contacting the bail bond company, the documentation, and subsequent release from the jail.
OpinionFront Staff
Bail systems are a good way to ensure that the person who has been arrested for a crime returns to the court. When a person is arrested for committing a crime, he or she can be released from the jail by paying the bail amount. This amount is determined on the basis of the gravity of crime that the person has been arrested for. Sometimes, this amount can be pretty high, especially if the crime is of a serious nature. So, the people who cannot afford to pay such high bails, opt for bail bonds. There is a definite process that has to be followed to get these bonds and the same is explained below.

Contacting the Bail Bond Company

The process starts with a person who is close to the defendant criminal, such as a friend, a relative, or in some cases the attorney or the defendant himself, contacting a bail bond company. In the initial meeting, the company collects information such as the jail where the detainee is held, for what duration has he been there, the detainee's place of work, his residence, for what charges has he been arrested, etc. This information is collected by the company to assess how much risk is there in granting a bail bond to the said person.

Signing the Documents

Once the bail bond company has taken the entire information regarding the defendant and the charges against him, and the defendant too has decided to purchase the bail bond, signing of the documents takes place. These documents include an application for a bail bond, bail indemnity document, as well as a final receipt. The company charges a fee equivalent to ten percent of the total bail amount for their services. This percentage is fixed by the California law and is a standard for all reputed bail bond companies. In some cases, the company might even take property as collateral, before offering the bond to the defendant.

Release from Jail

Once the paperwork is completed, the bail bond is posted by a licensed agent at the jail or the detention facility where the defendant is. Usually, for a competent and reputed company, it takes about two hours to complete the process. Once it is complete, the detainee is released from the jail. The process and final release from jail may take more than a few hours at times. This is because the entire arrest and booking procedures have to be completed first, before the company can actually initiate this process.

The company involves people close to the detainee, and takes collateral to ensure that the person, who is released from the jail on a bail bond, appears in the court on the appointed date. As the money of the bond company is at risk, it makes sure that the detainee comes to the court as stipulated for a trial, by supervising and keeping a check on him, from time to time. So, seeking a bail bond is beneficial both for the defendant, as it helps in releasing him from jail, and also for the judicial system, as companies providing this service ensure that the defendant appears for trial and does not skip bail. However, if the offense against the defendant is very serious, such as a murder, and the financial resources are limited, it is better to spend money on attorney rather than on a bail bond, as in such cases, spending money on bail bond could prove to be wasteful.