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Posting Bail and How It Works

By Criminal Defense Attorney on July 18, 2013

Perhaps the only thing that is as difficult as being arrested is watching someone you care about be arrested. Feelings of anxiety and helplessness are not uncommon experiences for family members and close friends of those suspected of committing a crime. However, you are not helpless, especially when it comes to bailing your loved one out of jail so that they can await their trial date from the safety of your home.

Posting bail seems complicated and intimidating. In order to make it a clearer, we have compiled some information that may be helpful for you in case you ever have to bail someone out of jail.

When someone is arrested, they will be placed in holding until their bail hearing is set. At the bail hearing, the judge will decide upon an amount for that person's bail. Factors that may contribute to the amount of bail assigned to a particular person include their past criminal record and the nature or magnitude of the crime they are suspected of.

Once the bail amount is set, you can pay it and have your loved one released. If you cannot afford the amount of bail, you have the option of hiring a bond agent. Bail bonds agents may seem intimidating but are helpful in a time of need. When you hire a bail agent, he or she will take responsibility of the full bail amount in exchange for a fee equal to a percentage of that amount. In some cases, a bail agent may also require you to sign over collateral. In order to help you, a bail agent will need the following information when you make the call:

  • The name of the person in jail
  • The charges against them
  • What jail they are in
  • Their booking number
  • Any other pertinent information

Once you have paid the fee of the bail agent, he or she will post the bond in order to have the person released. Depending on the circumstances of the case and how crowded the system is at that time, the person may be released immediately or within several hours.

At that point, the agent has fulfilled his or her part of the exchange. From then on, the person that was just released from jail must meet the conditions of the agent as well as show up to their set court dates on time. If he or she fails to appear before the court on the set day and time, the bail agent will be required by the court to pay bail in the full amount. The bail agent will then locate the defendant and take them back to jail. If the defendant fails to appear, you can also lose any of the collateral you signed over with the bond.

As long as you and your loved one comply with the conditions of the bail agent, there should be no complications with the exchange. As soon as the trial is over, you will have no obligation to the bond or the agent regardless of the outcome of the case.

If you have been arrested or someone you know has been arrested, contact a San Diego criminal defense lawyer from our firm today.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

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