Bail Bond Process
The bail bond process is a lot more complicated than it looks. A great deal of the information is handled behind the scenes, often before the bail bondsmen even have their first client. The bondsmen are required to have bonds on file with their local courts. Thus, this negates the need for them to secure individual bonds for each client. The typical amount is $100,000. To feel secure about issuing the bond, bail bondsmen will interview the person looking to post bail. The interview process not only protects the bail bondsmen, but also the defendant’s agent. Below are some of the issues bondsmen cover during their interview process:
The bail bondsman will want to establish the relationship between the defendant and the person looking to post bail. It is quite normal for family members to want to help by posting bail, no matter the financial risk. However, bail bondsmen want to make sure non-family members understand the risk involved. In addition, the bond between the defendant and the potential co-signer can help the bail bondsman gauge the potential for flight risk.
The bail bondsman will also want to know when the defendant was arrested. If the defendant has lingered in jail for several days, this may raise a red flag. The average defendant remains in jail for fewer than 48 hours. If more time than that has lapsed, a bondsman may question whether the defendant has anyone local, to make sure he or she returns to court.
To speed up the process, if not affiliated with the local holding center, the bail bondsman will be looking to the person acting on behalf of the defendant for jail information. This information will allow the bail bondsmen to contact the right person to begin the release process.
An important question the bail bondsmen will ask is how the bail bond payment will be met. Most bail bondsmen like cash or credit cards for the fee, or a percentage of the bail required. The percentage typically ranges from 10 percent to 15 percent. Some bail bondsmen are willing to work with co-signers that request smaller fees or payment plans. However, more details into work history, credit history, etc. will be required.
The bail bond process as we know it has been in place for more than 120 years. Bail bondsmen must consider many factors before handing over thousands of dollars on the “word” that someone will appear as required.