Things You Should Know About Bail

If you or someone you love has ever been arrested for a crime, you understand how stressed and overwhelmed you may feel about the criminal justice process. Searching for a local bail bond agency, such as “Allegheny County bail bonds,” may be a good place to start to learn about the bail process.

Cost

Bail bond fees vary based on state and local statutes. However, they are not allowed to be excessive or discriminatory. Because every bail bond company must be licensed by your state, they will typically have similar fees (10-15% or so). However, payment plans may be negotiated.

Bondsmen cannot offer discounts legally. They may lose their licenses if they discount one client over another. In addition, those who say they offer discounts often charge you the full amount. Find out your fees before signing any paperwork.

Collateral

You may be required to put up collateral to secure the remaining 90% of the bond, especially if the defendant has a history of not showing up to court. In this case, most bondsmen will hold anything of value as collateral. For example, they may accept real estate, credit cards, jewelry, vehicles or stocks and bonds.

Conditions

The court may place conditions on the bail and release of a defendant. For example, they may be required to remain in the state or county, and they need to obey the laws. They may also be required to complete counseling or rehabilitation programs. Typically, those out on bond cannot be in possession of firearms. If a suspect is found breaking one or more of their bail conditions, they may be immediately returned to jail. In this case, anyone who secured their bond will be released from all liability for the suspect.

Your bail bondsman will also be a great resource during the court and bail bonding process. Consider contacting an agent if you have questions about gaining the release of a suspect.