How Does Bail Work? – Most everyone has heard of bail bonds, but not everyone understands the system that’s in place to make them work. You may know that they act as a loan to guarantee a defendant’s appearance in court, but how does bail work legally and financially? Read on below and you will find out how bail works?
- Step 1: A suspect is arrested for a serious crime.
- Step 2: The court sufficiently trusts the defendant to appear for hearings, to allow them to go free during the interim, but seeks financial reassurance.
- Step 3: A bail amount is set by the court, which is money the suspect must put provide to assure they’ll show up for the promised court appearances.
- Step 4: The defendant shows up for all court appearances, and once the case is resolved, the court returns the bail bond. If the defendant pays the bond out of pocket, the full bail amount is returned to them.
How Does Bail Work – What is a 10 Percent Bond Fee?
Bail can be expensive. Do you have to pay the full bail amount? No, a defendant may decide to call Big Fish to post a bail bond in lieu of the money, in exchange for a 10 percent bond fee (we have flexible payment plans available). Big Fish posts the bond, and the court allows the defendant to go free between appearances until the case is resolved. The 10 percent fee is mandated by the state, so it’s non-negotiable.
How Bail Works When the Defendant Doesn’t Appear for Court
If the defendant pays the full bail amount out of pocket and fails to appear, the court keeps the bail.
Because the bail bond is a promise by an underwriting insurance company to pay the full amount of the bail if a defendant doesn’t appear, Big Fish also requires a guarantor to sign for the bond. This person agrees to pay the bond amount if the defendant fails to appear.
A bail bondsman may also hire investigators to bring the defendant into custody, and the company’s bond will be returned if they succeed. But “jumping bail” is a crime in its own right, so things get much more complicated for the defendant. The defendant:
- may forfeit the bond
- will likely face new charges for jumping bail
- will still face the standing criminal charges
A bail bond is a great resource for people who find themselves in a difficult spot, but don’t have the cash on hand to work through the daunting costs associated with criminal charges. Big Fish provides services for Wichita, KS, and Sedgwick County, and we’re known for flexible payment plans that allow you to get your life back on track with less financial burden. Give us a call. We’re here to help.