Dealing with an arrest of a friend or a family member is most likely the last thing you want to deal with. Nonetheless, when the duty calls, there are only two choices: Bail them out or don’t.
We all have to remember that when someone has been arrested, that does not mean the person has actually committed a crime, they have only been accused. Often times, circumstances were out of a person’s control and they were simply ‘at the wrong place at the wrong time’. In other cases, someone may have forgotten to pay a traffic violation or didn’t know they were issued a citation in the first place, yet without their knowledge there was an arrest warrant issued.
Maybe the person who has asked for your help did commit a crime, but he or she has been dealing with difficulties in their life. Negative conditions, such as substance addiction, divorce, being a victim of abuse, financial hardship, etc. lead people to dark places creating difficulty to think correctly. Friends and family should be available for these individuals to turn to for help within reason.
After someone has been arrested, they are taken to jail and mugshots and fingerprints are taken. Afterwards, a statement is collected from the defendant and eventually he or she will be granted bail at a set amount. Bail is the ability to be released from jail while waiting for a court date in exchange for money. But not all crimes committed are eligible for bail. At a bail hearing, a judge makes the decision as to whether or not the person arrested should be granted bail and for how much.
Thanks to our United States Constitution, most crimes committed are eligible for bail, but a defendant’s history also comes into play when the judge is making the decision. Primarily, the whole purpose of bail being set is to make sure that the accused shows up for their scheduled court date.
Again, the state of Florida has standard bond schedules in all counties for bail, but they vary throughout. These bond schedules create a uniform bail amount system making it possible for criminal suspects who have been arrested able to post bail without an actual bond hearing contingent upon the defendant’s reputation and criminal history (see the list above). Some pretrial inmates may be eligible for release without a cash bond.
Bail is the full amount of money required for the release of someone who has been arrested as explained above.
A bail bond is a legal document provided by a bondsman who is licensed through the state, which guarantees the courts that a defendant will appear in court as scheduled in exchange for his or her release from jail in the meanwhile. The bond is a contract involving the person who was arrested (the principal), the surety (the bondsman) and the municipal court (the obligee).
While the Florida bond schedule demands a minimum amount of bail, a bail bondsman provides a way for someone to get out of jail for only a fraction of the full bail amount. This fee is called the ‘bail premium’. At Bail Bonds Now, we charge 10% of the entire bail amount for a state bond and 15% for a federal bond. As an example, if a bail is set at $3000 for a state offense, the cost to the bondsman will be $300. If the crime is a federal offense, the bond will cost $450.
If you pay cash bail directly to the court system without the help of a bondsman and the defendant makes his or her court appearance as promised, the money is refundable except for court costs and fees, which can be as much as 10 to 15 percent of the bond amount. This is why most people choose to use a bondsman. Bail premiums (money paid to a bail bondsman) are non-refundable. As long as the defendant shows up to court as scheduled no other fees will be applied.
When a defendant misses a court date after posting bail, this is referred to as ‘bail forfeiture’. When someone has forfeited bail, any money paid in order to be released from jail after his or her arrest will be given to the court. If any collateral was put up as payment for bail, the property will also be released to the bondsman in order to pay the court.
There are 7 bond conditions. As long as those 7 conditions are not broken, the bondsman cannot revoke a bond. But if any of those 7 conditions are broken, the bondsman deserves the right to revoke the bond and bring the defendant back to the jurisdiction of the courts. Fees may apply if any bail bond condition is broken.
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