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October 27, 2020
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What is Bail Bonds, Its history & How Do They Work?

History Of Bail Bonds

The system of posting property or money in exchange for temporary release pending a trial dates back to 13th century England. The commercial practice of offering bail bonds arose from a need to balance the playing field among the rich, middle, and poor classes when people were accused of a crime.

Bondsmen will take a percentage of the bail needed and place the rest for somebody that has been charged with a crime and is awaiting trial. Before, only those who had sufficient money and land to post as collateral were lucky enough to secure temporary release pending their trials. Entrepreneurs eventually realized that with enough funds, they could offer this security to the court in a suspect’s name after receiving a proportion of the sum as insurance. There are additional fees involved when using a commercial bond support, which is the way the company profits from this practice.

Bondsmen in the USA have been around since the country’s heritage. The laws concerning bail bonds are different and refined over the years. These laws have mostly addressed equity in placing amounts according to the crime that has been charged. Bondsmen have changed some particular practices based on individual state laws, however, the basic concept has remained largely the same.

The business of posting bail bonds for people that are qualified by the legal structure of court gives a much-needed service. Those that are financially not able to prefer the entire number of funds set by the court frequently find this service to be an invaluable one.

Type of surety bond

A Bail Bond is a type of surety bond provided by a surety bond company through a bail agent or Bail Bondsman that secures the release of a suspect from jail.

  • Criminal Bail Bond: Employed in criminal cases and guarantees that a defendant appear for trial when called upon by the court and guarantees payment for any fines or penalties that are decided against the defendant.
  • Civil Bail Bond: used in civil cases and guarantee the payment of the debt, plus interest and costs, assessed against the defendant.

A judge sets a bail amount. If the defendant cannot pay the bail amount by themselves, they can seek help from a Bail bondsman in the form of a Bail Bond.

To post a Bail Bond, a defendant is usually required to cover a Bail bondsman 10% of the bail amount.

The Bail bondsman will then secure the rest of the bail amount in the form of collateral. If the defendant doesn’t have enough collateral, the Bail Bondsman may seek out relatives and friends to help out with covering the bail.

Quite often, an additional cash payment plus complete collateral is required for a Bail Bond to be posted.

What happens next depends on if the suspect appears in court after being released.

  • If defendant fails to appear in court: The Bail Bond is forfeited and the court requires the remaining 90 percent of the bond to be paid. The Bail Bondsman will utilize the defendant’s collateral (home, jewelry, stocks, etc) to cover the court the rest of the bail amount.
  • If a defendant does appear for court: Upon conclusion of the court case, the Bail Bond is dissolved and the security is returned to the individual who posted it. The Bail bondsman keeps the 10% cash fee as profit.
Bail Bond
Bail Bond

How to get a Bail Bond

Most surety companies don’t write Bail Bonds due to the underwriting problems connected with them. Bail Bonds are among the most hazardous of bonds to compose.

This is because when the defendant fails to appear in court, the surety bond company who issued the bond is liable for the complete bond penalty. Needless to say, because of the nature of surety bonds, the surety company would seek out reimbursement from the defendant so as to recover any punishment they had to cover.

These nations still have Bail Bonds, but the 10% payment of the bond goes to the court rather than a bondsman.

It’s important to know the risk involved with Bail Bonds. Underwriters will assess the whole risk of submitting a Bail Bond, such as private life, financial situation, family circumstance, and the situation itself, before issuing a bond.

Approval isn’t easy and often requires others to indemnify, or co-sign, for the defendant.

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