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About Bail Bonds
Most of us are naturally unfamiliar with the inner workings of the criminal justice system. Naturally, we understand that criminals commit crimes, police officers arrest them, judges and juries hand down sentences, and lawyers do a lot of talking on either side. An interesting facet of the criminal justice system not often portrayed in popular culture, or mentioned on the evening news, is how Local bail bonds functions. Local bail bonds works like this: a person is arrested for a crime, then typically brought to a local law enforcement station for booking, prior to incarceration in lock-up at the station, or a county jail. Once the arrest has been made and the booking completed, the defendant will have different options depending on the severity of the case. If a trial is likely, the defendant will then be brought before a judge to determine whether or not bail (a dollar amount usually related to the type of crime committed, and how likely it would be that the detainee is able to flee the county) will be granted, and if so, how high that amount might be. The Local bail bonds system is designed to guarantee that the defendant in a criminal case appears in court at the date and time specified by the judge. There are often conditions that have nothing to do with money placed on defendants. The Local bail bonds system is designed to insure that while a defendant is awaiting trial no further damage will be done to the community. Often a defendant will be required to make mandatory calls to an assigned police officer, surrender passports and other means of travel documentation, submit to random drug testing, the use of an ankle monitor, substance abuse counseling, surrendering firearms and other weapons, and even house arrest. In some cases of extreme violent crime, bail will be denied and the defendant is held for trial. In other circumstances, however, bail will be granted, and the defendant or members or their immediate family must figure out how to get the money required to bail their loved one out of jail. For those with access to disposable income, this is not a problem they simply post bond to the court in full and take the defendant home. If the defendant is later found to be innocent of the charges he or she was arrested for, the bail bone amount is returned to the family. In cases where the bail amount is unattainable by the defendant, it may become necessary to solicit the services of a Local bail bondsman.
More on Bail Bonds
A Local bail bondsman is a professional agent authorized by state and local court officials to post bond for a defendant. In return, the Local bail bondsman is paid 10% of the bond amount up front, and that commission is nonrefundable. For instance, if bail was set at $5,000 dollars, the Local bail bondsman would require an upfront nonrefundable $500 dollars in cash. Some states have elected to implement the same service by cutting out the middleman, requesting that a defendant pay 10% of the bond amount directly to the court. When a bail amount is considerably larger a bond agent will not be able to cover the amount on their own, and will instead use the assets of the defendant or other person contracting the bond agents services to obtain security for the full bail amount. Example: the defendant is a homeowner, and bond is set at $100,000 dollars. The Local bail bondsman would take $10,000.00 in cash, then put a mortgage against the defendants house for insurance on the full sum of the bond. Most counties will not accept a mortgage from an out of state house. Due to such large sums of money being in play, Local bail bondsmen are usually allowed under the law or by contractual agreement to make the defendant appear in court even if the defendant has fled the county. This is usually accomplished by hiring the services of a bounty hunter. It is also possible to sue the defendant for any money the bond agent forfeited to the court when the defendant failed to appear. There are several unusual organizations who are authorized to provide Local bail bonds. AAA, for instance, extends its auto coverage to include Local bail bonds for traffic related arrests, in part to prevent law enforcement from leaning on an alleged offender to plead guilty at arraignment, and partly to provide a unique service to its membership. Commercial Local bail bonding is currently banned in four states. Kentucky, Illinois, Oregon, and Wisconsin have opted to cut out the middleman entirely by allowing the 10% cash deposit on the Local bail bonds amount to be paid directly from the defendant, or defendant representative, to the court. These states, do, however, still allow AAA and similar organizations to provide the Local bail bonds services that exist in their membership policies.