What are my options if I am arrested?
  There are five options for release of a defendant:
A. Surety Bond (a bail bond)
B. Property Bond
C. Cash Bond
D. Release On Own Recognizance (O.R.)
E. Release on Citation (Cite Out)

If you'd like a more detailed explanation of each option, please look in our How Bail Works Section.
 
How Do I Get A Bond?
  There are four ways in which a person may be released from custody:

A. You can use bondsmen this means that you will pay a fee and need to use some form of collateral;
B. You can post cash for the full amount of the bond with the court or jail;
C. You can use real property (such as a home) with the court;
D. Lastly, the judge can decide to let the defendant go on there own recognizance.
 
How Long Is The Bail Process?
  The paperwork takes approximately 20-45 minutes, depending on the complexity of the transaction. The release time can be one hour or less for local police stations and 6-12 hours in a county jail. Please remember that these times are not guaranteed but general time frames.
 
What is Collateral?
  Collateral is some property placed within the bondsman's legal control, which may be sold in the event the defendant does not show for the next court proceeding. The bondsman can then sell the property to cover the amount paid to post the bail. Essentially, collateral is a way of insuring the defendant will go back to court and complete his/her obligation to the court.
 
What Do Bondsmen Accept As Collateral?
  Each bonding office will have there own standards but, for the most part they will take:
A. Real estate
B. Cars
C. Credit cards
D. Stocks
E. Bonds
F. Jewelry
G. Personal credit
H. Bank accounts
I. Art work
 
Can I finance the bail bond fee?
  Yes. We do offer payment plans for those who qualify.

At Bail Stop, we accept the following forms of payment:
1. Cash
2. Visa
3. Master Card
4. American Express
5. Discover
6. Diners Club
7. Personal, Cashier's, or Traveler's Checks
8. Quick Collect
9. Electronic Bank Transfers
 
Do I get my money back after the case is over?
  There are a few exceptions to this but you do not get your premium back that you paid to the bonding office. This fee is what allowed the defendant to get out of jail and is fully earned once the defendant is out of custody. For example, if the defendant gets rearrested a week later, you get neither portion nor a refund of any money. If the bondsman fails to live up to his end of the contract, then and only then may you be entitled to a refund of some kind.
 
Can I leave the state or country while I am out on bond?
  You will have to get permission from the bonding office in writing before attempting to do so. If the court has given you direct instructions not to leave the state or country you must then get permission from the bondsmen and the court before leaving. Otherwise you are subject to arrest!
 
What happens if the defendant misses their court date?
  When the defendant misses a court appearance, a bench warrant is issued for the person's arrest. The defendant's name is then entered into a nation wide data base (NCIC) as a fugitive. The defendant’s Bail Agency is obligated by law to arrest individual as well. This will cause the indemnator to incur further costs.
 
What happens if the case goes more than a year?
  There is from time to time where a criminal case may take more then a year, and in this case a second premium will be owed to keep the defendant on bond. It may be wise to contact the attorney and try to get a bail reduction in the 10 or 11 months of the case in order to save a costly renewal premium.
 
What happens if the defendant gets rearrested while out on bond?
  There are remedies that can be done here as well. Contact the bondsman as soon as possible so that they can discuss your options in full detail with you.
 
What happens if I think the defendant is not going to show up for court after I have already posted the bond?
  There are remedies that can be done here as well. Contact the bondsman as soon as possible so that they can discuss your options in full detail with you.
 
Are some bondsmen less expensive than others?
  Bondsmen are licensed by the state in which they practice. State guidelines provide a set rate. Some bondsmen are licensed to write at 8%, meaning that the cost to you the customer will be less but there are certain provisions for this rate.
 
Can the bail bond agent discount the fees on the premium?
  The surety files a rate with the department of insurance, which must be changed. Bail is 10% of the bond amount plus an incidental insurance fee of $10-15. Discount fees can lead to the suspension or revocation of any agent's bail license by the department of insurance. There are companies that legally charge 8% and 15 % under certain circumstances. Always ask to see a rate chart if you feel that you are being wrongly charged.
 
What information should I have before I contact the bail agent?
  A. Where is the person in custody? Make sure that you ask the person in custody where they are located (city, state and name of jail).
B. What is the full name and booking number of the person in jail? The bail agent will need this information in order to contact the jail. The bail agent can get the booking number for you if you don't have that information.
C. How much is the bail? The bail agent will get this information when they contact the jail if you do not have it. With the bail amount the agent can tell you the amount it will cost to post a bond and get the person out of jail.
 
At what point is the co-signer no longer liable for the bond?
  The co-signer is no longer liable for the defendant's bond when he/she completes all of their court appearences and all premiums have been paid. It is best to contact the agent when the bond is exonerated by the court. This allows the fast return of any collateral pledged and also confirms that the bond is exonerated. In the event of forfeiture, the indemnitor is liable until the full amount of the bail has been paid, plus any expenses incurred or until the court exonerates the bond, which then becomes void.
 

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