Few things are as stressful and scary as being arrested. Regardless of whether you had a warrant out for arrest for a traffic violation or got caught stealing, the arresting officer takes you to jail where you are booked. After booking, a judge sees you in a bail hearing to determine if you qualify for bail and how much you must pay to leave jail. This is where bail bonds come in.
The defendant cannot leave jail until the bail is paid. Some people may be able to pay a cash bond, which means they have the money to pay the bail in full. Other people must have someone go to a bondsman on their behalf to obtain a bond to pay the bail. The bondsman typically collects a fee, around 10% of the bail amount. Then they cover the remaining balance with the caveat that the defendant makes all future court and legal appointments. A search for a bonding company near me Pittsburgh PA provides you with a variety of options to help you get out of jail.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to post bail and leave jail during their trial. The judge determines the defendant’s eligibility based on a variety of factors. They look at the past arrest history, community involvement, flight risk, severity of the crime and court history before making a decision. You can appeal a denied bail, but it helps to have a criminal defense attorney help with that process. The bond amount is usually determined by the state’s bond schedule.
The defendant is expected to meet all bond conditions to avoid landing back in jail and forfeiting the bail bond. These conditions can include meeting with a parole officer, community service and showing up to all court appointments. The bondsman may require surrender of collateral used to obtain the bond such as placing a lien on your home or holding the title to your car.