How Do Bail Bonds Work?

In the United States criminal justice system, the cash bail system provides a means for a suspect to secure his or her release from detention while awaiting trial. However, many suspects are unable to pay exorbitant cash bail amounts up front and depend upon the services of bail bonds near me Allentown PA.


How Bail is Set

Shortly after an arrest, usually within about three days, a suspect will attend an initial bail hearing or arraignment. At this hearing, a judge decides whether or not a suspect is eligible for bail and sets the amount, taking into consideration the crime’s seriousness and the potential risk that the suspect will not return for a trial date.

Once the bail is set, interested parties, such as family or a criminal defense lawyer, can call the jail directly to find out the amount of bail.


How to Pay Bail

The total amount of bail can be paid to the court’s office directly, at which time the defendant will be released from custody on the condition that he or she will return for a trial date. In the event that the defendant cannot pay the entire bail amount, he may elect to put up collateral instead. The collateral must consist of real property, such as land or a home, that has worth equal to or greater than the amount of bail.

It is important to remember that in the event the defendant doesn’t show up for a court date, the entire amount of money or collateral property is forfeited to the court.


How to Get a Bail Bond

If a suspect cannot pay bail, he or she may use the services of a bail agent. Bail agents, also known as bondsmen, issue surety bonds to a court in lieu of bail. To get a bail bond, you must contact a bail agent, pay their service fee and sign a contract agreeing to be responsible for the total bail and to show up for scheduled trial dates.

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