Everyone knows about bail bonds. They know that if they ever get arrested, a bail bond agent is who to call to get out of jail quickly and back home where they belong. For most of us, the bail bond system is unfamiliar and something we hope we never need.
Here are a few of the more surprising facts about bail bonds that you probably don’t know.
- Bounty hunters are not bounty hunters anymore. They prefer to be called Bail Recovery Agents or Bail Recovery Agents because it better reflects their professionalism.
- Some states don’t have a bail bonds system because it’s illegal. These states are Massachusetts, Oregon, Wisconsin, Maine, Illinois, Nebraska, and Washington D.C.
- Bail is not set for all crimes. For minor crimes, misdemeanors, the court often allows the defendant to be released on his or her own recognizance which is a legal promise to show up in court for all scheduled court dates relating to your case.
- Recovery agents can cross state lines in pursuit of you. In fact, they can cross any state line.
- A judge can deny bail. If the crime is severe and you are considered a flight risk or a danger to yourself or society, the judge may demand that you stay in jail until your trial is over.
- Bail is different than a bail bond. Bail is the dollar amount the court sets for you to pay in order to be released from jail. Upon the completion of your court dates, you will receive the bail money back, minus any court fees and fines.
A bail bond is a loan that helps you afford the bail, a legal agreement between you, the bond agent and the court that you’ll show up for court.
- Money isn’t always the only requirement of bail. The court often sets conditions of bail such as requiring that the defendant participates in a drug or alcohol treatment program. It usually imposes travel restrictions and doesn’t allow the defendant to have contact with known criminals.
- Bail amounts vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Many courts use bail schedules that are guidelines for setting bail amounts by crime. However, there is no standard for these schedules and the amounts can vary greatly. Ultimately, the amount of bail, or denying it altogether, is at the discretion of the judge.
- You may have to provide collateral. Depending on your situation, the bail bond agent may require that you offer something of value that can be sold to pay bail if the defendant fails to show up in court. Collateral can be vehicles, real estate, jewelry or anything that’s worth a good amount of money.
- Bail bond companies aren’t new. The first bail bond company in the U.S. was established in San Francisco in 1898.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, Mercy Bail Bonds can help. Our expert staff can get you the help you need while giving you the respect you deserve. Everybody makes mistakes. Call Mercy today for help with yours at (727) 856-7775.