Being arrested for the first time can be frightening. Navigating the arrest process is difficult when you have limited options inside a county jail. Most people who have been arrested try to post bail in order to obtain their release while waiting for a court date.
You will probably come across some new terms when attempting to post bail. It's important that you understand these terms so that you can navigate your release with ease.
The first term you will encounter when trying to obtain your release from jail is bail. A lot of people think that they understand what bail is, but this term can be more complex than expected. Bail is essentially the dollar amount assigned by a judge that a defendant must pay to secure their release.
Many jurisdictions have a set bail schedule for certain crimes. The bail schedule specifies a bail amount so that the individual being arrested doesn't have to wait for a judge to determine bail.
Once bail has been paid, you must appear at all court-mandated hearings. If you appear in court as agreed, the full amount of your bail will be returned to you — even if you are found guilty. If you do not appear in court, your bail will be revoked and a second warrant will be issued for your arrest.
2. Bail Bond
Bail bond is a term that can sometimes be confused with bail. A bail bond is a type of agreement between a person who has been arrested and a bail bond agency. Once a bail amount has been determined, you may discover that you don't have the financial resources required to pay the amount in full.
A bail bond agency can step in and pay the full bail amount on your behalf. You will be required to pay a percentage of the bail to the agency in exchange for this service.
When you appear in court, the full bail amount is returned to the bail bond agency. If you don't appear in court, the bail bond agency can pursue liens on your home or car in order to recoup their investment.
Even with a bail bond agency covering most of your bail, you still might not have the financial resources to pay for your percentage in full. A bail bond agency will allow you to rely on an indemnitor to help secure your release.
An indemnitor is essentially a co-signor who agrees to be responsible for paying the balance of your bail if you fail to appear in court.
Reach out to a bail bonds service in your area for more information.