What is a bail bond?

A cash deposit, or similar deposit or written undertaking, or a bond or other security, given to guarantee the appearance of a defendant in court for their criminal case.

What happens next to the defendant after he/she is booked. When can they be bailed out of jail?

These are the most common things that happen once a person is booked.

  1. Sometimes a defendant is released and no charges are filed.
  2. The defendant is released on his/her own recognizance (O.R), however, the person must make all court appearances or there will be a warrant issued and the process begins again.
  3. The defendant is released on bail bond.
  4. No bail is set and the defendant must remain in jail until he/she goes to court.
  5. The defendant may bond out immediately on pre-set bonds providing they sign a waiver of arraignment.

How long does it take for the defendant to be released once the bail bond is posted at the jail or the person is released on an O.R. (own recognizance)?

Generally, there is not much difference in timing between these two types of releases. The process, once again is up to the jail and depends on the amount of detainees being processed for release, in other words, whoever comes up first in the line. The bail agent has no authority over the jail to expedite any detainee’s release.

Can I speak to the person who has been arrested and is waiting to be booked?

The only way you can communicate with the arrested person is when you receive a call from that person in jail. If the defendant calls our company we are happy to make a conference call.

What about collateral? Is it always needed to secure a bail bond? Are there other options?

Some bonds will require collateral. Your signature may be the only guarantee necessary, especially if you own a home. In most cases, needing a bond does not mean that a lien against your property is required. It depends on the size of the bond, the type of charge(s) and other factors. Our agents will help you work through this problem. A good job, and established residency within the community constitutes collateral, too.

How long is a bond valid?

A bond is valid for one year.

What happens if the person bailed out is late for court? Is the bond forfeited?

Technically, the answer is yes, the bond is forfeited. The court may view the defendant’s failure to appear as a willful act and issue a bench warrant. The defendant will then be subject to arrest. If you know the person is going to be late or can’t find the right courtroom, please contact either your bail company to handle the situation by reassuming the bond, or by contacting the court clerk in any courtroom. They will direct you to your appropriate court. Always check in with the bailiff to let them know you are late. It is always best to make a late appearance than no appearance at all.

How long does the booking process take and what is involved?

The booking process is generally long and tedious for both parties. During this process the jail is running the arrestee’s name and social security for pending warrants in other states and cities. A copy of the arrestee’s fingerprints is sent to the jail for comparison and identity verification of that individual; photographs are taken, booking numbers assigned, along with the bail amount; which normally coincides with the charge (offense). It can take up to 10 hours to be booked in and 2-4 hours after the bond is posted to be released.

Is an attorney necessary? What about a public defender?

In a criminal matter, the defendant should consult with an attorney. Many attorneys offer a free consultation. The court appointed attorney is appointed to those who cannot afford a private attorney. At the first court appearance called the arraignment, the defendant is asked if he/she can afford an attorney. If the answer is no, you may apply for a court appointed attorney.