Bail Bond FAQs
At A 2nd Chance Bail Bonds, we understand that, for many, this may be the first encounter with the judicial system. While we know that this experience can be unpleasant, it is one where you need an experienced company by your side. Many clients encounter this traumatic experience at a very trying economic time; that is why we offer various payment plans tailored to fit anyone’s needs. At A 2nd Chance Bail Bonds, we will not treat you like a number but will assess payment plans based on each specific case. We are experienced in what we do and offer the highest level of customer service in our industry. We handle bonds from local to federal levels in any JAIL and any CITY. Let A 2nd Chance Bail Bonds be there for you at your time of need. Please go to our Contact Us page to find which location suits your needs and contact us at your convenience.
Bail is a sum of money, property, or a surety bond promised to the court to guarantee an arrested person’s appearance in court during trial. The right to reasonable bail is guaranteed by the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
See our video “How Bail Works” to learn more.
A bail bond is a financial guarantee that you will appear for all court appearances until your case concludes or is dismissed. You pay the bail amount, and if you do not show up for court, the court will keep the bail and issue a warrant for your arrest.
Under state law, a licensed bail bonds agency can provide a type of insurance policy or “bond” that guarantees payment of the full bail amount if the defendant does not show up for their court appearances. Bail bonds agencies charge a percentage of the total bail amount to the defendant or the person who signs the bond on their behalf, plus any additional fees that occur, such as court costs.
A bail bond amount represents the full amount of bail set by the court. On the other hand, the bail premium is typically about 10% of the original bail cost, made to the defendant or guarantor’s bonding agency for posting the bond.
A co-signer is a person who signs an agreement with the bonding company for the release of an inmate who is currently incarcerated. His or her signature indicates that the co-signer guarantees that the defendant will make good on the promises outlined in the bond agreement. The co-signer is legally responsible for ensuring that the defendant for whom he or she signed appears at court on the appointed days and times. They’re also responsible for making any payment plans associated with the bond as well as informing both the court and bonding company of any updates to their or the defendant’s physical address or phone number.
Yes, if the defendant is able to pay 100% of the bond fee as collateral then the defendant can act as their own co-signer.
A 2nd Chance Bail Bonds is available to execute bonds all over the United States. We have serviced bonds of all amounts (There is no bond too big or too small). We have the knowledge and experience to handle multi-complex transactions in the bail bond business; rest assured we can handle your case. Many clients encounter this traumatic experience at a very trying economic time, which is why we offer various payment plans tailored to fit everyone’s needs.
If you are interested in understanding how the entire bail bond process works, here is a beneficial short video called “How Bail Works.”
Once a person is arrested, they must be booked. This process may take as little as forty-five minutes to several hours. Once a judge sets the amount of the bond, the person, also known as the defendant, may post bail and be released until an arraignment hearing date is set. A bond is designed to guarantee said defendant’s appearance in court. The bonding company guarantees to the court that they will pay the total amount of the bond should the defendant fail to appear in court.
When posting a bond with a bonding company, a cosigner or indemnitor is required. A cosigner or indemnitor, which is often a friend or relative, will sign a contract with the bonding company ensuring financial responsibility should the defendant fail to appear for any court dates. This obligation does not end until the court has exonerated the bonding company from the case.
Should the defendant fail to appear in court, the cosigner or indemnitor will need to turn the defendant into the bonding company to be surrendered or have the case reset. If the defendant absconds, the cosigner or indemnitor must pay the full amount of the bond. The bonding company will then forward the amount to the courts.
Once the cosigner or indemnitor has signed a contract with the bail bonding company, the bail agent will prepare the necessary paperwork for the defendant’s release. You may co-sign by email, fax or in person at our office. Once the paperwork has been completed at the jail, the defendant is then released.
Once a bail bond agent has turned in the jail’s bond, the defendant’s release depends on the paperwork process in that specific jail. This may take anywhere from forty-five minutes to twenty-four hours.
Many defendants do not have the money to pay their bail upfront. The bail bond company puts up the entire amount of a defendant’s bail to secure their release. This fee is for the service of fronting the bail money.
Some bail bond companies will work out a payment plan to allow a defendant to pay the bond service fee in installments until the full amount is satisfied. If a defendant fails to maintain the payment plan, the bonding company can have the defendant re-arrested.
We accept payments online via our website (ATLBail.com). Defendants may call and make a payment over the phone. Processing fees may be applied to any payments made via phone.
Collateral is needed for those defendants who are considered to have an added risk of being non-compliant with the terms of the bond. In these cases, some bonding companies require an additional assurance (money) to be put up as collateral, to secure the defendant’s bond. This collateral will be returned upon the completion of the case.
Defendants are required to appear at all court dates. They’re also responsible for paying any balance owed to the bonding company. Additionally, it is the defendant’s responsibility to update the bail bond company and the court of any changes to their current contact information, including physical address and phone number as well as notifying the bonding company and the court of any planned out of state travel.
Defendants are expected to attend every court date – from arraignment to sentencing. Only if the defendant’s attorney tells him or her that being physically present in the courtroom is not needed should a defendant not appear in court.
In most cases, no check-in is required. However, defendants should closely read their agreements with the court and the bail bond company. If there is a required check-in from either or both parties, it will be explained in the underwriting qualification stage.
Bail bond companies use this information to keep in touch with defendants while they are out on bond, sharing information about their bond and repayment schedule as well as any notices from the court. Sometimes, the court will ask the bail bond company if a defendant has been compliant with the terms of the bond agreement. If the bail bond company doesn’t have a defendant’s current contact information, it reflects poorly on the defendant. If a defendant leaves the state without permission, this action can be considered “bail jumping.” Lack of communication or breach of contract could result in the bond being revoked.
The length of time that elapses between an arrest and a trial is determined by multiple factors, such as the charge and the location of the alleged crime. For example, if a defendant is facing a misdemeanor charge, he or she will most likely know their trial date before leaving the jail. Generally speaking, it takes approximately three months for most misdemeanor trials to be scheduled. However, if a defendant is charged with a felony, it could be as soon as 12 months or as long as three to four years before a trial date is set.
The defendant’s court information may not be immediately available upon release on bail. It takes time for the court to post this information on their respective websites. Superior courts will post the information online when it’s available. The court will also mail the defendant a notice to appear. The request may ask you to appear in person or virtually, depending on the case. Defendants that cannot find the information they need should call the courthouse directly or call their bail bond company for assistance.
A defendant is required to ask the bonding company for permission to leave the state before traveling for any reason. If permission is granted, the defendant may travel. If the court ordered the defendant to be monitored by a pretrial officer, the defendant will need to obtain permission from that person as well as the bonding company. Without prior permission, a bail jumping warrant can be issued if the defendant is discovered to be in another state.
If a defendant is bonded out of jail on a payment plan and fails to make his agreed upon payment to the bonding company, the bonding company can revoke the bond.
When a defendant fails to appear (FTA) in court, the court will issue a bench warrant for the defendant’s immediate arrest. Often, the bonding company will work with a cooperative defendant and the court to set a new court date after an FTA. If the defendant declines the reset the court date, the bonding company may arrest them.
When a bench warrant is issued, an arrest warrant is signed by a Judge and authorities are commanded to arrest and bring the defendant before the court.
A bond is said to fail when a condition of the bond is not met. For example, if the defendant does not appear at his or her court date, the bond fails. It also fails if the amount of the defendant’s payment agreement is not completely satisfied.
When a bond fails, a bond forfeiture date is set, and a bench warrant is issued. At this point, we will attempt to reset the court date. If this isn’t possible, we would seek to arrest the individual and return them to custody. If we are not able to locate the defendant, then reimbursement of the bond liability amount would be sought from the co-signer.
No. When a defendant appears in court, the court returns the entire bail bond amount to the bonding company. The bail bond company retains the bond service fee that was paid.
The money the defendant paid the bail bond company is a fee for service and is not returned.
The bond agreement ends when the case closes. Sometimes, cases do not move forward due to lack of evidence, while others end because a plea agreement is reached.
When the case has successfully completed, the bond fee paid to the bonding agency is kept by the agency as the fee for their services. If collateral was paid in addition to the bond fee, and there was no contractual violation during the duration of the case, the payer of the collateral is entitled to a collateral refund within a certain number of days after informing the bonding agency the case has closed (normally 30 days). A copy of the disposition is required in order to close the bond and return any collateral paid.
Once the judge has signed the disposition, collateral is generally returned within thirty days after the case is ultimately settled. Please note, the premium must be paid in full before collateral is returned.
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