Out on bail? What you must know about bail bonds
If you are accused of a crime, getting arrested and spending time in jail could be an unfamiliar and frightening experience.
Luckily, because you're legally innocent till proven guilty, in quite a few instances a judge may well allow you to be released till your hearing or trial.
But it's very rare that a judge will just let you out without first getting some kind of security assurance that you will return for your court hearing or trial.
In most instances the judge will order you to put up a bail bond before you can be let go.
Bail bonds are commonly set in the course of a formal process called a bail hearing.
This is when the Judge has a meeting with you (the Defendant) and hears facts about whether or not it's suitable to set bail.
In the event the judge does choose to set bail, he normally has a number of options to choose from.
First of all, "Cash" bail may perhaps include things like cash, however it can typically also be paid by certified checks, cashier' s checks or money orders.
It is very important for you (or whoever posts the cash bail for you) to keep the receipt they receive to ensure that they'll be able to collect their refund once the terms of the bail have been met.
And at times you will have to fill out IRS documentation like a W-9 too when the sums involved are big enough.
Secondly, if you're very fortunate, a judge will determine that you are not a flight risk and will let you be released on a signature bond.
That typically means that you just need to sign some legal forms after which you are free to leave.
But it is extremely important to pay close attention to any conditions or instructions that the Judge has given to be sure that you understand exactly what you ought to do to ensure that the bail won't be revoked.
Thirdly, Corporate Surety Bonds are bail bonds that are secured by Bail bondsmen.
Though there may be some variations determined by exactly where you live, commonly you pay 10% of your bail amount to the bail bondsmen outright, and prove that you have adequate monetary resources to pay the other 90% if needed.
Even when you meet all of the bail conditions, the 10% remains the property of the bail bondsman and is not returned to you.
Lastly, a judge may possibly also set a property bond as collateral for your release.
Generally the Judge will require that you present proof of ownership of the property, as well as an appraisal of value, along with a list of any existing claims or other encumbrances against the property.
Regardless of what type of bail is used, you are entitled to have your bail returned when the conditions of bail are met.
But this does not always happen automatically, so make sure you find out how the process is handled in your area.
In many areas you or an attorney acting on your behalf will need to file some forms with the court or make a motion to the court to recover the money used for the cash bail or have the property bond revoked.
So always check with the procedures in your case and make sure that the correct steps are followed to have the bail returned to the proper individual.
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