Bail Posting and Process
Bail posting can be an unfamiliar process for most. It’s not often someone you know is arrested and in need of posting bail. Even so, the bail or bail bond process can be easy to understand. When an individual is detained for an alleged crime, they will have the right to bail out once they are booked in. This is usually handled by a friend or family member since the arrestee has limited access. The individual making bail for the arrestee will have the option of putting up “cash” bail via check or credit card or posting a bail bond.
Depending on the circumstances, the detention facility can accept “cash” bail via personal check or credit card. However, police departments, county jails, and detention facilities may limit the amount accepted with these forms of payment. They may also verify the funds with the banking institution prior to releasing the arrestee, which may take days. There may also be limits in the amount of $5,000.00, pursuant to their department’s policy. If bail is set in a higher amount, then it would become necessary to hire a bail bond service. The bail bond company in return will charge you their bail rates for the bail posting. The bail rates are usually a percentage (8% to 15%) of the total bail amount and is the cost associated with the bail bond service provided.
In addition, the co-signer to the bail bond may be required to secure the bond with real property or other types of assets. The bail bond is an appearance bond, thus the bail bond company and co-signer are guaranteeing the defendant’s appearance in court for the underlying charges. If the defendant fails to appear, the bail posting will be forfeited and the total amount of bail will have to be paid to the court. For this reason, the bail agent will take certain risk factors into consideration when qualifying the co-singer; prior arrest history, jail time exposure, and level of the crime.
Bail Posting and The Law
It is your right to bail under the 8th amendment of the Unites States Constitution. However, certain crimes such as murder are considered “capital crimes”, an exception to the rule, and keeping the arrestee from posting bail. The 8th amendment also requires that excessive bail be not permitted for someone detained, that everyone has a fair opportunity in making bail. Typically, a judge will set bail for the arrestee pursuant to the county bail schedule. This occurs only if the arrestee didn’t make prior arrangements in posting bail or an argument is made to reduce the bail amount because it’s to high. A bail bond attorney who specializes in bail law is a great resource regarding bail posting.
Underwriting a Bail Posting
We previously discussed the risk taken by the bail bond company when posting a bail bond. Thus, a good bail agent will screen a co-signer carefully, obtaining important information during the application process. If real property (home) is pledged as security for the bail bond, then it will be analyzed for its value. The bail bond company may also run and obtain the co-signer’s credit report, verify employment, and check references. Sometimes it may be necessary to have multiple co-signers and additional collateral to secure a bail bond. Again, each criminal case has its own circumstances and risk factors in determining the underwriting of a bail posting.