When someone is arrested and bail is set for their release from jail, there is the option of offering something as collateral to the court or to a bail bondsman if you don’t have enough money to cover it. Bail is an incentive to ensure that the defendant shows up for his/her court dates. Once the trial is over, no matter if it’s dismissed or the defendant is found innocent or guilty, any bail money or collateral will be returned to its owner. A bail bond agent will charge a non-refundable fee of 10% that will not be returned. It’s the fee for using their services.
What is Collateral?
Collateral is something of value that can be used to secure the release of someone who has been arrested and offered bail. The most common items used as collateral are:
- Real Estate (The equity must be 150% of the amount of the bail.)
- Electronics (computers, video game consoles)
- Stocks and bonds (their value must be more than the bail amount)
- Other valuables (jewelry, guns)
If you put up your vehicle for collateral, you won’t have to leave it. The bail bond agent will hold onto the title of the vehicle but you can still keep and use your car. The same is true for real estate. You will still be able to live in the home but the bail bond agent will hold onto the deed and after the defendant shows up for all the court dates, it will be returned to you. You can also use cash, but the bail bond agent will be holding onto it until the trial is over.
What If The Defendant Skips?
If the defendant skips out on bail, that is, doesn’t show up for court appointments or trial, any collateral that was used will be sold to pay for the bond.
If you’ve put up something valuable of yours to get someone out of jail and they skipped, call the bail bond agent immediately. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to rectify things before forfeiture but you must act quickly.
Worth the Risk?
Before you offer to help a friend or loved one out of jail, ask yourself if it’s something you’re willing to risk. Remember, you could lose your home or other valuables if you put it up for collateral. The decision is not an easy one and even if you feel you trust your loved one, there’s still risk involved. Nobody wants to go to prison and they could decide to flee out of fear. What are you willing to lose?
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Texas, AAAA Discount Bail Bonds can help. We’re a full-service bail bonding agency with two locations serving southeast Texas, but we can write bonds nationwide. We’re available 24/7 to help get your loved one out of jail quickly and discreetly and back home where he or she belongs. For your convenience, we now offer e-bonds which allow you to do all of your paperwork from your smartphone! Call AAAA Discount Bail Bonds today at (936)539-4444 and we’ll get the ball rolling on your release.