The bail bond system is a major component of the legal system, but understanding bail bonds can, at times, be confusing. Here are four facts about bail bonds.
1. They May Not Be Available in All Jurisdictions
Not every jurisdiction will make bail bonds available to those who may need them. The availability depends on what, if any, restrictions a bail bond company faces in a given jurisdiction. For example, if you need York county bail bonds, make sure you understand that they’re available in that jurisdiction and what is required of you to obtain a bail bond there.
2. The Industry Is Highly Regulated
There are many regulations bail bonds companies need to meet. Some of these are set by the federal government and others are set by individual states. Companies must be fully registered in each jurisdiction in which they operate and have the proper experience and paperwork. Their agents need to have proper licensure and educational backgrounds in order to operate with bail bonds companies.
3. Bail Bonds Are Loans
At its core, a bail bond is a type of loan. You can ask for a bail bond if you don’t have sufficient funds to pay your bail amount in full. The bail bondsman will cover the amount of your bail as long as you pay the bondsman or company the required fee. This fee is typically about ten percent of the full amount of your bail. The difference from more well-known types of loans is that the bondsman or company will get the bond money back if you appear in court as required. If you don’t then the bondsman or company loses that money.
4. They Can Improve Defendant Appearance Rates
Because of the way this loan works, the use of bail bonds can be used to increase the rates at which defendants appear in court. Defendants tend not to want to risk their bondsmen or the companies paying their bail to lose their money. This only applies to secured bonds, not unsecured bonds, however. These rates tend to improve because bail bondsmen have a vested interest in ensuring their clients appear in court and getting their money back.
If you think you will be in need of bail bonds, make sure you do your research. This will help you determine the requirements for your jurisdiction and situation, as well as what you can expect from your bail bondsman.