Perhaps you’re not quite sure how it happened…

Maybe you know exactly how it happened…

Regardless, you (or maybe a friend or loved one) ended up behind bars…Arrested.

You don’t have to have experience being arrested to know that it’s a terrible thing and that jail isn’t a fun place to be, to say the least. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to get the defendant out of jail as quickly as possible; that’s where bail bondsmen come in. Typically, when an arrest is made, a judge issues a bail amount. That amount must be paid in full to release the defendant from jail. From this point, there are a few different bonding options available to anybody looking to spring someone out of jail. The two most common bond options are as follows.

 Surety Bonds

Because bail amounts are sometimes too high for the average person to pay all at once, a bail bondsman can step in on behalf of the defendant to post bail — usually at a cost of approximately 10% of the bail amount, paid by the defendant or someone representing the defendant — with the written understanding that it is contingent upon the defendant’s promise to appear in court on the date scheduled by the court. This is called a surety bond.

Property Bond

In some cases, if nobody has the bail money needed to secure the surety bond, they need to come up with bail collateral in the form of a property bond. The collateral is used in place of, or in addition to, money to cover the bonding company’s cost of getting the defendant back to jail if they don’t appear for their court date. Because risk varies from case to case, it’s up to the bail bondsman to determine just how much collateral would be necessary. Any property that’s fully-owned by the signer can be used, including houses, land, vehicles, boats, etc. It’s important to note, however, that in the case of a property bond, the defendant must appear for their appointed court date or the signer could lose their property.

In Either Case…

It’s important to know what you’re agreeing to when you sign either form of bail bond contract, however. Once the contract is signed, you’ve agreed to assume the obligation required if the defendant doesn’t show up in court. In addition, you automatically become the one lawfully accountable for helping the bondsman with getting the defendant into court and before the judge. If they need to hire a bounty hunter to bring the fugitive to justice, you would also incur the additional expense associated with such.

Therefore, it’s vital to know everything there is to know about what you’re signing on for before you sign anything. A licensed bail bondsman is not only trustworthy, but experienced enough to know the process in order to help you or your loved one navigate the path to freedom successfully.