A bail bondsmen can post a surety bail bond with the court.
Surety is a type of insurance that the courts allow to take the place of actual cash. The definition of SURETY is: a person who takes responsibility for another’s performance of an undertaking, for example their appearing in court or the payment of a debt.
- Surety can be posted in states that accept Surety Bonds.
The bondsmen will need to talk to a loved one of the defendant whom will be the defendants “co-signer” This person will be in the most contact with the bail bondsmen.
The co-signer will need to pay the bail company a percentage of the face amount of the bond (usually 10%) this percentage is set by the state. The co-signer will also need to sign a contract/promissory note promising to pay the full amount if the defendant does not show up to their court date(s).
On bigger bond amounts (usually $5,000 and up) collateral is required. Collateral can be in the form of: cash, vehicle title, home deed, 401k, or any other type of valuable asset. The collateral is held onto by the surety company and a lean may be filed on mortgages.
I usual explain to families that they are essentially taking out an insurance plan with your bondsmen. The same way you would on a car or home, but this insurance is to appear to court. The premium of 10% is set by the state and is usually the same from all companies. For a bail bonds company to charge less then the set amount by the state is technically not legal the term for it is called “rebating” and if an agent is caught rebating they could potentially loose their insurance license. But this does not stop desperate companies from undercutting.
Once the bond is posted and the defendant is released, they will need to complete the same paperwork the co-signer did. The bondsmen will also discuss the conditions of the bond. The court will set their conditions and so will the bail bonds company, make sure the defendant is aware. Not being aware is no excuse the court will still expect the defendant to abide by the conditions.