HOW BAIL BONDS WORK
When someone is arrested, they are generally given a bail amount. This amount can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars — and they are often more than a person can pay at once. A bail amount is designed to ensure that the arrested individual goes to their court dates. If they fail to show up, the bail is forfeited. Thus, once someone has been arrested, someone will need to show up with the bail amount in order to bail the individual out — and the individual needs to show up to their court date to get the bail back.
What If You Can’t Pay Your Bail?
Bail amounts are often prohibitively expensive. An individual may not have enough cash at hand for a $5,000 bail. The solution to this problem is a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman puts up a bond of the full amount of bail, in exchange for a low one-time fee. As an example, a bail bondsman may be paid a $500 fee and they will put up the full $5,000 bond; thus the individual can be released from jail immediately rather than having to wait.
What Happens If You Don’t Bail Out?
If an individual cannot come up with bail or get a bond, they will usually have to wait until their court date — or will have to argue with the court to be released without bail. Either way, they may lose their job, not be able to attend classes, or have issues with child care; it’s almost always beneficial to be bailed out as soon as possible.
What Happens If the Court Date Is Skipped?
Regardless of whether you have bailed out or used a bondsman, you will still be responsible for the full amount of bail in the event that the court date isn’t attended. The individual using the bondsman is essentially providing a guarantee that the other person will show up for their court date. Even though they aren’t being charged, they will be considered responsible for the full bond amount. This makes it incredibly important to keep contact with your bondsman.
Secured Bail – The Better Option
On scheduled court dates, a number of defendants fail to appear (FTA). The defendants who FTA, impose significant costs on court systems and the public. Direct costs include rearranging & rescheduling court dates, the wasted time of judges, prosecutors, lawyers, law enforcement officers, their support staff, etc.
Public law enforcement have a primary responsibility for pursuing and re-arresting defendants who were released on their own recognizance or on goverment bail. The flow of FTA warrants has overwhelmed many law enforcement agencies. Most counties and cities are faced with a massive pile of un-served arrest warrants.
However, defendants who are released on Secured Bail have an entirely different and an immediate problem. The bail bond agent and bail bond company typically spring into action and pursue FTA’s immediately after they occur.
Bail bond companies and their agents have a financial incentive to monitor defendants, and to ensure that they do not skip court. If they FTA, the incentive becomes – (RETURN THE DEFENDANT TO COURT or RISK FORFEITURE!).
Compare the effectiveness of defendants released on their own recognizance, government bail, and secured bail. Data consistently indicates that defendants released on secured bail have a lower FTA rate than defendants released under other methods.