You are awakened by the phone in the middle of the night. It’s a loved one, and they need you to
bail them out of jail. What do you do?
First, relax. You’re not alone; there are people, like us, who can help.
What do I do now?
Call us with the name of the jail and we’ll talk you through the entire process.
What is bail?
When you’re arrested, the court will either remand you to jail until your court date, release you on your own recognizance, or they will set a bail amount, which is a specific amount of money that you need to pay to the court to ensure that you will appear at any future court dates. It all depends on the severity of the crime committed.
What is a bond?
Many defendants can’t afford to pay the bail amount in full so they seek the help of a bondsman who for a non-refundable fee, will provide a guaranty to the court that you will show up for court. The defendant or a loved one will provide collateral which, if the defendant fails to appear in court, will be forfeited to the bondsman to pay the court.
We’ve put up the collateral and my loved one is out of jail. Now what?
It’s important that you make sure that your loved one makes all of his court appearances on time. Once the case has been resolved by a dismissal or conviction and any resulting fees have been paid, the collateral will be released although your initial fee to the bond agency will not be returned.
What if I’ve posted bond for someone and I know they’re not going to show up for their court
If the person doesn’t show up, bond is forfeited by the court and a warrant is issued for the defendant’s arrest. The bail bond company is notified of the missed appearance. Usually the bail agency will try to locate the defendant to make arrangements for a new court date, but if these efforts fail, they may employ the help of an apprehensive specialist to track down and arrest the defendant. If only a small period of time lapses before the defendant comes forward and makes arrangements for a new court date, he may only be responsible for a failure to appear fine and associated court fees.
Typically, if the person doesn’t appear for his court appearance, the collateral is forfeited and if
it is real estate, it is seized and sold. If you have secured a bond for someone and you know they aren’t planning on appearing for their court date, contact your bail bondsman immediately. They’ll be able to discuss your options with you.
When do I get my collateral back?
You will get your collateral back when:
- The charges are dropped.
- The person enters a negotiated plea and is sentenced.
- The person is granted deferred entry of judgment, which is a judgment for drug offenders who plead guilty or no contest to the charges and enter into a drug treatment facility or counselling.
- The person is found innocent at trial.
- The person is found guilty and is sentenced at trial.
Any outstanding balance on the premium must be paid before the collateral is returned.