If a loved one is arrested, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether to post bail . Many people don’t really understand how bail bonds work until they are faced with the prospect of posting bail, so they have many questions when they visit a bail bond agent in Upper Marlboro. If you are facing a loved one’s arrest and wondering how to handle the question of bail, these facts should help.
Most bail is posted using a bail bond.
Although it is possible to pay a bail in cash, doing so is a financial impossibility for most people. When you pay a cash bail, you are required to pay the whole amount to the court. Although you are eligible to receive the cash back after the case is concluded, the court may retain the cash if the defendant is found guilty. To avoid these complications, most people use a surety bail bond. With a surety bond, a bail bond agent makes an agreement with the court to pay a portion of the bail and to pay the rest if the defendant fails to show up for trial. The bail bond agent charges a fee for the service, which is not refundable, regardless of the case outcome.
Bail amounts can vary widely.
The courts consider many different factors when setting bail amounts. If there is a schedule for bail in the county in which your loved one was arrested, the court may have little leeway, but in other instances, the court will consider everything from past criminal history to the nature of the charges. Generally, the most serious the crime or the more extensive the criminal record, the higher the bail amount will be.
You may need to provide collateral.
In addition to a fee for posting bail on your behalf, you bail bond agent may require collateral from you. The collateral provides security for the bond agent should your loved one fail to appear, causing the court to require full payment of the bail from the agent. Depending on the total amount of the bail, the collateral could be significant, such as your house, so it’s important to only post bail for someone you feel confident will honor the agreement.