How Do Bail Bonds Work?
While you might have heard of bail or a bail bond on a movie or TV show, you may not be crystal clear on just what they are. Even if you haven’t had a recent run-in with the law, it never hurts to be well-informed. All American Bail Bond Agency is here to give you a lesson on bail bonds as well as just how they work.
Let’s start with the basics: Simply put, bail is a type of insurance courts put in place for jailed individuals for the person to be released. While the defendant has the choice of paying the total bail amount, most of them do not have that amount of cash on them. If that’s the case, the person in jail might not have a choice but to work with a bail bondsman who will help them secure their freedom.
Just like bail is a type of agreement between the court and the defendant, a bail bond is a type of agreement between a bondsman, a surety bond company and the defendant. Both agreements are made to secure the defendant’s freedom.
When the arrest is due to a civil matter, a civil bail bond ensures the set bail is paid, along with fees and interest. With a criminal arrest, a criminal bail bond is put in place to ensure the defendant shows up for court at the designated time, and that all penalties and/or fines against the defendant are taken care of.
The Inner Mechanics
Let’s go through an example to break down how bail bonds in Michigan work: A judge sets bail at $10,000 for Rick, who doesn’t have the financial resources to pay the bail in full. Rather than remain in jail and risk losing his job, Rick turns to a bail bondsman to help him pay the bail. Before taking care of the bail, Rick has to first pay at least $1,000, which is 10 percent of the bail amount. Rick pays the $1,000 and is set free, leaving $9,000 unpaid.
Either Rick or his friends and family have to come up with $9,000 worth of collateral, such as a car or house. Rick still has to appear in court before the matter is fully settled. As long as he does so, he doesn’t have to pay the bondsman any more money, and he regains legal ownership of his collateral. That being said, he’ll still lose the amount he put up for 10 percent of the total bail amount. On the other hand, if Rick fails to make all required court appearances, the bondsman would use whatever was put up as collateral to pay the court.
While no one ever intentionally puts themselves, their freedom and their property or car at risk for bail, mistakes happen. When they do, you should know exactly whom to turn to for assistance. If you or a loved one are ever arrested and are unable to pay the set bail, contact an All American Bail Bond Agency representative.