A bondsman, also known as a bail bond agent, is an agency or person who will put up the money to secure bail for those who need to pledge their appearance at a criminal court hearing. Bail bondsmen can often have a defendant released in a matter of hours, once their services have been obtained. Bail is an amount of money that the court says must be used as collateral to guarantee that the accused will appear in court as promised. Without posting the proper amount, a defendant must remain in jail until their appearance.
A bondsman will pay a percentage of the bail against the bond, to back the defendant’s promise to show up for court. If the defendant doesn’t appear, the bondsman must cover the bail amount, but does have the option of using a method such as sending a bounty hunter to bring the defendant to court in order to recoup their losses. Many bond agencies are open at all hours to cater to the needs of their clients, so if you find yourself arraigned and in need of someone to help you post bail so that you can wait for your trial at home, a bondsman is the person you are looking for.
Bonds can be posted in all sorts of situations, such as for misdemeanors, felonies, criminal appeals, jail bonds, and immigration bonds. For each of these, there are generally four different types of bonds that can be made. The first is a personal recognizance bond, which means that if you make a promise to return to court, you can go without paying any money. No bail bond agent is needed in this case.
There are also cash bonds, in which case the defendant has to pay the entire bail amount in order to be released. In some states, there are also ten-percent bonds, which means that ten percent of the bond amount will be required until an appearance at court. If the defendant does not appear, the other ninety percent will be required.
The final kind is a surety bond. This is the case in which a bondsman promises that the defendant will show up at court. If the promise is not kept, the bondsman is responsible for the entire bail amount. In any of the last three cases, the services of a bail bondsman may be needed.
Misdemeanor and felony bonds are given at the arraignment following being arrested for either misdemeanor or felony behavior. A misdemeanor is generally less serious charges, thus the bond is generally less than for a felony. After having been convicted, a criminal appeal may be filed for various reasons.
In some cases, you are eligible for bail. The factors involved in determining whether or not bond can be posted include length of sentence and the type of crime involved. Immigration bonds are for those who are in custody for immigration detainees or immigration violations.
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