·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


The Bail Process and Bail Bonds

— August 3, 2021

The bail bond agent acts as a guarantor of the arrested person and ensures that the person abides by the conditions and appears in court when called. 

Going to jail becomes imminent for a person soon after arrest because the law enforcement agencies would like to hold the person in their custody until they appear in court for trial. However, the arrested person has the right to apply for bail and avoid jail term until the trial begins by choosing the legal options available. 

The bail process

Typically, the arrested person must appeal to a judge for bail, who then takes into cognizance the probable cause affidavit filed by the arresting officer. The affidavit is a concise version of the officer’s charges against the arrested person or the defendant. The judge goes through the report and considers the seriousness of the case based on the facts stated in the affidavit while considering the criminal history of the defendant. The judge also considers other factors like the age of the person, educational qualification, profession and estimated income of the defendant, social status, family background, and social connections that help to understand the threat posed by the person if released on bail. By considering the risks, the judge sets the bail amount that the defendant must pay to the court to seek release from custody.

Setting bail for common crimes

Bail bonds office. Image via Wikimedia Commons/user:Daniel Schwen. (CCA-BY-4.0).

The law gives the benefit of the doubt to the accused or arrested person who has the right to walk free from custody by fulfilling the bail conditions. No person is guilty unless proved in court during the trial. In line with the view about personal liberty pending trial, the legal system has provisions for effecting the early release of a person without appearing before a judge for setting bail. For common crimes, bail schedules are available at the police stations so that the arrested person can quickly seek release by complying with the procedure of paying for bail.

How to pay for bail

The arrested person can make cash payment for bail but must be transparent about the source of funds and should disclose to the court that the funds are all legal. If the court detects falsification or discrepancy in the declaration, then the judge can refuse bail. The bail amount will be refunded only if the arrested person fulfills the conditions attached to the bail and cooperates with the authorities by appearing for trial.

What are bail bonds?

Paying cash for bail is not always feasible because of the high bail amount that the arrested person might difficult to arrange in a short time to seek early release. Moreover, proving the legality of the funds can also be challenging. An easier and quicker way to release an arrested person is to furnish a bail bond issued by Freedom / Libertad Bail Bonds, a surety bond issued by a licensed bail bondsman. 

The bail bondsman goes through the case records to understand the risk of bailing out the person and usually charges 10% of the bail amount to furnish the bond but against some collateral provided by the arrested person. 

The bail bond agent acts as a guarantor of the arrested person and ensures that the person abides by the conditions and appears in court when called. 

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