According to statistics, many low-income people charged with a crime cannot pay a bail bond even if it’s low.
Bonds are an essential part of the American legal system. For defendants who cannot afford to post bail, it can mean being stuck in jail for months without being convicted of any crime. A person must give some form of collateral or pay a premium to have their loved one released from jail with bail bonds.
The money is returned as soon as the trial is over, and no laws were violated during this time. In other words, if someone skips town after being bailed out with a bond, the court will attempt to reclaim all outstanding funds from those who gave them financial assistance after conviction may be enforced by placing a lien on the defendant’s home or property should they ever decide to sell.
What Exactly Is A Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a monetary pledge required by a court in exchange for release from jail of a person accused or convicted of a crime before their trial date. The accused returns to the court to face charges.
Law enforcement will take you to the police station when you are arrested. First, they will ask for your name and date of birth, get your fingerprint, and book you into jail. If this is your first arrest, they will most likely hold you overnight so that the courts can open in the morning when a judge can hear your case. You don’t have to answer any questions, including your name. But it’s usually better not to give false information because if they find out who you really are, they might charge you with additional crimes.
You have the right to talk to an attorney before you are questioned, as well as the right to have a lawyer present during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one should be appointed for you before any questioning.
If they don’t have enough evidence to convict you of the offense they are charging you with, bail is set according to certain schedules that judges use. These schedules indicate how much bail is required depending on the seriousness of the offense. For instance, if you are charged with shoplifting goods worth $50 from a corner store, there is no reason why someone would need more than $500 bail. However, if this was your third conviction for armed robbery or rape or murder, the judge may set bail at $50,000 or more to ensure your appearance in court.
However, judges can give a person bail without using the schedules. They might do this if they think you are less likely to run away and not come back to court or if they believe that releasing you on your “own recognizance” will protect the community from further crimes you can commit. This means that if you promise to come back for trial and obey all laws, the judge releases you without requiring any money as security. If you fail to appear as promised, the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest, which authorizes anyone who finds you to take you into custody and bring you before them to order for your imprisonment until your trial.
Common Bail Bond Options
Note that bail bond rates depend on the state where the crime was committed and whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony charge. Their exact rate can’t be determined after they’ve been arrested because the dollar value of the bond depends on factors, including the defendant’s arrest offense and their prior criminal history.
1. Citation Bond
A citation bail bond is used instead of cash bail when a defendant has been cited for certain charges. The charges must be misdemeanors or infractions, and the defendant cannot have any warrants out for their arrest. This form of bail can only be used once in twelve months, and it is usually not available in serious cases, such as sex crimes and domestic violence.
The defendant must go to the county jail or office that has issued the citation, and they will then receive their bail amount. This money is then submitted to court authorities, and the defendant can be released immediately.
2. Cash Bond
The defendant must pay the entire amount to the court immediately. If this is not possible, they will need to obtain a loan or borrow money from family or friends or a bail bond company. This option is ideal for defendants who do not own property, have limited assets, with a low income, or can’t afford collateral for bail. Cash bonds may be forfeited entirely if the defendant does not appear in court at their appointed time.
If you need to pay a bail bond but don’t have the means, you can visit Abba Bail Bonds, which allows online application for bail bonds in just 5 minutes.
3. Immigration Bail Bond
It is a bail that any non-resident of the United States arrested on criminal charges pay if they want out of detention while awaiting trial. This does not apply to someone who only has removal petitions filed against them.
The person who posts the bond agrees to be financially responsible for the defendant’s appearance in court on their scheduled trial date. If the defendant does not appear, the person posting the bond can lose all or part of their money. However, if the defendant appears on time, they will receive their total amount back at trial. Usually, the defendant’s money to the person posting the bond is held by the court. But with an immigration bail bond, the money can stay in the person’s bank account, paying the bond until the defendant appears at their hearing date.
4. Personal Recognizance Bond
To secure a release from jail, the accused will be given a Personal Recognizance Bond (PRB). This bond acts as a promissory note with a specific amount written. The accused pays this money in cash or through a bail bondsman and is released from custody until their court date. The defendant does not have to pay this money unless they fail to appear at court when required. If the defendant appears in court for all the necessary dates, the PRB is returned without interest.
If an individual fails to attend their scheduled court date, the judge seizes the PRB and enters a judgment against the person released on bond. If they wish to resolve the matter, they must pay the full amount of the bond, plus any additional late fees that have been accrued.
5. Property Bail Bonds
The defendant posts some property equal to, or greater than, the full bail amount with the court. The court will only release them on their recognizance if they have no prior convictions.
This option is rarely used due to its stringent requirements. Defendants who are not United States citizens may not acquire citizenship papers to own property in their name legally. Property bonds are also prohibitively expensive for defendants with limited incomes and assets. However, these are usually required for violent or high-risk defendants.
6. Surety Bonds
The defendant pays 10-20% of the full bail amount. They must pay this fee to a bail bond company, which then posts the whole bail amount with the court on their behalf. This option is also referred to as a “bond” or “surety bond.” Companies that offer these services may be called “bond companies,” “bail bond agencies,” or “insurance companies.”
For more information on how to post a bail bond, visit Abba Bail Bonds.