Being arrested is a very scary, stress-inducing affair. No one wants to spend more time than necessary sitting in a cold, dark jail cell when they could be in the comfort of their own home. This is where bail comes into play. Bail is the monetary amount assigned to a person’s case by a judge. This amount must be paid in order for the arrestee to be permitted to leave jail and return home before their court date. Bail is refundable and used as a sort of ‘security deposit’ to ensure an individual shows up for their assigned court date. If bail is posted and the defendant arrives as expected, the bail is refunded by the court. If the defendant fails to appear in court, their bail will be kept and a warrant for their arrest will be issued. Depending on the crime committed, bail can vary from a couple of hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. When bail is too high for a defendant to pay on their own a bondsman must step in and provide the necessary bond required for their release. This article will clarify what a bail bond is, how it works, and why bail bondsmen are necessary.
What Is A Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a way for defendants to pay the jail and be able to return home until their court date. If a defendant can not afford to pay their bail, they must remain in jail for the weeks or even months that precede their court date. To avoid this, defendants are given the option of contacting a bail bond service. Bail bond services, also known as ‘bondsmen’, will pay the entire bail for a small fee. This payment is known as a ‘bail bond.’ In Florida, either money or property is required by the bail bond service as collateral to ensure the arrestee’s appearance in court. By accepting a bail bond, the defendant is agreeing to show up for their required court appearance. Once the defendant appears in court, the fronted bail is returned to the bondsman and the transaction is completed.
How Are Bail Bonds Set?
Bail amounts are dependent on the severity of the criminal violation committed. For instance, in Florida, the default bond requirement for a first-degree felony is $15,000. Thus, when being charged with a first-degree felony, bail will be set at no less than $15,000. However, based on the severity of the felony the overseeing judge has the power to increase that amount based on the specifics of the case. In Florida, the cost of a bail bond is set at 10% of the total bail amount. For example, if the judge sets bail at $50,000, the defendant is responsible for paying the bondsman $5,000 to secure their release. This cost jumps to 15% for federal crimes. Likewise, there are certain violations that are considered ‘non-bondable.’ This means no bail will be set and the defendant will be forced to remain in jail until their court date. Murder, armed bulgulary, and certain sex crimes are all considered non-bondable in the state of Florida.
Cash Bonds vs. Surety Bonds
If a defendant is able to pay their bail in full, this is considered a cash bond. Cash bonds are seen most commonly with low bail amounts. Cash bonds are fairly straightforward. The defendant provides the jail with a cash payment, gets released pending their trial, and then gets the majority of their payment returned after appearing for their court date.
Surety bonds are necessary when the defendant does not have enough cash to cover the full amount of their bail. Surety bonds involve hiring a bail bond service to post bail for you in exchange for a small fee. With this type of bail bond, you have an obligation to a third party to attend your court hearing. Likewise, a surety bond will cost you a fee, usually 10% of your total bail, that you do not receive back simply for appearing at court.
Why A Bondsman Is Necessary
Bail Bonds are an essential part of the criminal justice system. Bail bondsmen work to ensure defendants are able to spend as little time in jail as possible, regardless of their financial standing. Without bail bond services, many potentially innocent individuals would be forced to spend weeks or months in jail. Resulting in lost jobs, broken families, and personal trauma. A Bondsman provides assurance to the court that the defendant will appear for their hearing and works alongside the defendant’s attorney to ensure their required appearances are met.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges and need help posting bail, contact Roche Bail Bonds for immediate nationwide assistance. Our highly trained and dedicated professionals are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Roche Bail Bonds is your one-stop bail agency in Hillsborough County, Tampa, Florida. Call us today at 1 (866) 469-1650. Our team is standing by to service all your bail needs!