How Bail Bond Process Works

How To Bail OutA bail is a form of legal assurance that allows for you to be released from jail as you wait for your court case or even during the trial proceedings. It acts as a guarantee that you are going to report to court for your case or anytime you’re asked to by the judge. Different states have different laws about bails, but the process is essentially the same. When you are arrested, you normally have to go through the following steps before you can post for bail.

  1. BOOKING – where all your personal details are recorded. Before this step the police might conduct a thorough search on you depending on the reason for your arrest.
  2. FINGERPRINTING – your prints are taken and stored in the database.
  3. FREE PHOTO SESSION – police mug shot for the records.
  4. BACKGROUND CHECK – police will search for any outstanding warrants or past criminal offenses.

Once the police are done with the above you are now able to post a bail for your release. To post a bail you normally have the following options:

  • CASH BAIL – A cash bail involves paying the entire amount of the bail (in cash) for your release. This is normally acceptable if the bail is not a large sum of money (e.g. less than a thousand dollars). It is also mostly for petty offenders who are allowed to pay a small bail without having to go for a bail hearing.
  • PROPERTY BAIL – If you are unable to raise the required amount for cash bail you can usually post your property as bail. In the event that you skip court, the court has the right to sell off the property to recover the entire bail amount. It is your interests in the property that guarantees you’ll show up for court.
  • OWN RECOGNIZANCE – Under this arrangement you are released without having to pay anything in bail or pledging any property. This decision is normally arrived at after an interview to determine if you are likely to appear in court. It is however for those who commit petty offences and are also non-violent.
  • BAIL BOND – This is the alternative to the cash bail and is usually for larger sums of money. The amount of bail you pay under surety bond is normally arrived at after a bail hearing. However, in some cases there are set bail amounts for specific offenses and so a hearing may not be necessary. Once the bail has been set you have to go through the following steps:
  1. You or a family member/friend has to contact a Hillsborough County bail bondsman with all the relevant details of your arrest, like the jail you are being held in, date and time of arrest, and your full legal name.
  2. The bail bondsman has to be a registered insurance company with enough assets to prove that they’re able to pay the entire bail amount in case you skip court. Once the agent has your full details you have to pay a premium which is normally a percentage of the bail amount ( normally 10%).
  3. Once the premium is paid the agent then posts bail for your release.

If you happen to skip court the bail bondsman will have to pay the entire bail amount. The risk of losing money is what motivates the bail bondsman to ensure you don’t skip any court dates.