It is perfectly normal for you not to know what to expect when it comes to bail or bail bonds. In fact, even if you have experience with bail bonds in the past, being arrested or watching a loved one get arrested can cause panic and mix up the bail knowledge you have into a confusing tangle. Remember, if you ever need or want clarification on bail questions, simply ask a qualified bail bonds agent. To help you out, the bail professionals at Grimes’ Bail Bonding & Notary Services have compiled a bail FAQ list for North Carolina citizens to reference.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bail & Bail Bonds
Being prepared by knowing what bail is and how bail bonds work can do wonders in speeding the process along before you even make a call to your local bail bonding professionals. We hope the following list helps you better understand the quickest way to get your loved one released from jail and what else to expect from the process. Bonding out your loved one will also move faster if at the time you call Grimes’ Bail Bonds bail agents you can tell them the full name of your loved one and their booking number, where they’re being held – which county or city and jail, and the bail amount that has been assigned to them. Knowing as much of this as possible when you pick up the phone will make the most of your and your loved one’s time.
What is bail?
Bail is the way the court allows a person accused of a crime to be temporarily released from custody so that they may prepare for their court date and continue with their regular lives in the mean time. As a country with a legal system built on Innocent Until Proven Guilty, arrested persons are granted bail on the condition of appearing in court later by the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
How is bail determined?
Bail is determined by a set of factors which influence its total amount. The offense itself as well as its circumstances is one of these factors. The weight of the evidence against the defendant certainly matters from the very start, as do any ties to the community. “Ties” can be counted as local family or familial responsibilities, how long the defendant has lived within the community, financial resources, and employment history. Any previous or current criminal record, record of trial attendance, or evidence of mental illness and habitual alcohol or narcotic abuse. Lastly, the likelihood or amount of threat, if any, the defendant poses to the public or an individual.
When is bail set?
Bail can be set by the police or judges. Police set bail in the case of certain crimes, according to the corresponding Schedules dictated towards that crime. Other times a judge sets the bail or re-sets the bail to ensure the best result of future attendance to court.
How does a bail bond work?
After the court sets the bail amount to gain a defendant’s release, a defendant may pay that bail through cash, putting up a piece of property of equal or greater value to the bail, or get a bail bond by paying a small fraction of the whole amount to a bail agent. The bail agent then turns around and pays the full amount to the court. That fraction amount is called a premium. Premiums are frequently about 10% of the entire bail and though that fee is non-refundable, it acts as the quickest option with the least amount of risk for the person posting bail.
Who is a guarantor or co-signer?
A co-signer is the person who helps assume financial responsibility and is responsible for the defendant upon release.
What is a forfeiture and when does it happen?
Forfeiture is the giving up, or forfeit, of a paid bail amount. Bail is posted as a promise that the defendant will attend all future trial proceedings. Should the defendant make each appearance then at the conclusion of the case, regardless of the outcome, the bail amount is returned to whomever paid it. Should the defendant miss a court date, run, or skip out on bail, then the amount paid is owned by the court rather than loaned. There is no refund in the case of skipping bail, resulting in a forfeiture.
Is bail conditional?
Yes, bail is always conditional on the stipulation that the defendant return for all future court dates. Some bail is attached with extra conditions such as an Order of Protection in the case of domestic violence or child abuse, where the defendant may not approach or contact in any manner the family within their household. Other bail conditions can include completing anger management classes, parenting seminars, or safety courses.
For more information on bail FAQ for North Carolina, call Grimes’ Bail Bonding & Notary Services today.