As soon as you learn that you or a loved one is facing legal trouble and needs to be released from custody, anxiety flares up and your mind goes every which way. You do not know what to do next or who to call. It can be very overwhelming trying to find your way around the legal system; however, with the right guidance, you can figure everything out easily. Understanding the bail bonds process is part of this navigation and it is crucial to know it. The following guide will help you understand the process and make your life a little easier.
8 Steps to the Bail Bond Process
Arrest and Booking
First things first, an arrest must be made, which is when the suspect is taken into custody and taken to the police station or county jail. Next, the booking process begins which includes paperwork, pictures, and fingerprinting. Remember to stay calm and compliant because the information given will be used to determine the suspect’s identity and charges.
First Appearance and Bail Hearing
Once booking is complete, the suspect will stand before a judge for an initial appearance, also known as an arraignment. During this time, a judge will decide if bail will be given and if so, will set the bail amount. This decision is influenced by a variety of things such as severity of the charges, whether the suspect has a criminal history, has connections within the community, and their flight risk.
If a judge grants bail, the suspect or their family and friends can decide whether to post the full amount with the court. In many cases, that is not an option due to the challenges of coming up with the entire amount upfront. This is where a bail bonds company can be very useful.
Contacting a Bail Bonds Agent
There are options if you cannot pay the full bail amount, including working with a bail bonds agent. When working with a bail bonds agent, you will pay a non-refundable fee to him or her, which is usually a percentage of the total bail amount. The bonds company then gives a surety bond to the court. This guarantees the suspect will show up at future court dates.
Release from Custody
As soon as the bail bondsman posts the bond, the suspect is released from custody. It is vital to follow the rules set by the court during this time, including attending all court hearings, remaining within jurisdiction, and avoiding certain people and situations.
Once the suspect is released, he or she must show up at all scheduled court hearings. It is very important to remain informed about upcoming dates and working with your attorney to come up with a firm defense. If you do not appear in court, it can lead to the loss of the bond and being arrested once again.
The process continues with hearings, negotiations, and a trial if need be. The outcome of your case will be decided whether the bail is absolved or if more legal action is required.
Conclusion of Bail Agreement
The bail bond agreement will end as soon as the legal proceedings are determined. If you fulfill all court requirements, the bail bond is settled and any collateral that was provided is given back. If you fail to show up in court, the bail bond could be forfeited.
Choosing the right bail bonds agency may not always be the easiest, but when it comes to legal uncertainty, you can count on Mercy Bail Bonds. We are very knowledgeable and compassionate and stay by your side till the end. Our staff is professional and committed and have years of experience in the bail bonds industry. Contact us today at (727) 856-7775 so we can help you get started with the bail bonds process. You will have no regrets!