What You Need to Know About the Bail Process

If you know someone who has been arrested, you might be looking to bail them out of jail. But the process can be intimidating for those who are unfamiliar with it. Do you actually have to pay to free them? Will you ever get your money back? Here’s a helpful rundown of the methods by which you can post bail.

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Bail Bonds

Bail bonds are provided by an insurance company through an agent known as a bail bondsman. They secure the release of the defendant pending trial. With affordable bail bonds williamsport pa, there’s usually a charge of 10 percent of the amount of the bond and often the defendant must put up collateral such as a mortgage on a house. When the court case ends (regardless of the verdict), the bail bond is “exonerated” and returned to the insurance company. The only way a full bail would have to be paid is if the person who has been bailed out disappears and never shows up in court (aka “jumps bail”).

 

Property Bonds

If you lack the resources for a bail bondsman, pledging property as collateral may be an option. State laws vary, but in most cases the value of the property must be double the bond. However, because property bonds must include an application, a promissory note, a current appraisal and other documents, the process of having one posted can be lengthy. As with any bond, if the defendant fails to appear, the property will be considered forfeited.

 

Cash Bail

If you do have enough funds to pay a bail amount, you can simply bring it to the jail to secure the defendant’s release. Cash bail is fully refundable to the person who posts it, less administrative fees, at the end of the court case. However, it can often take a few months for the money to be returned.

Few things are more unsettling than seeing someone you know make a mistake that lands them in jail. Bailing them out is often the first step in setting that person on the right path.