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BAILBONDS 101

What are Bail Bonds? and What's the Process to Bond Out?

Being arrested can be a horrible experience and it is always embarrassing for the people involved and their families. The first step to get out of this mess is by securing a bail. Bail is a process of providing money or surety to get out of jail after an arrest. When people make bail, they are still expected to appear in court whenever they are asked to do so. Bail is not granted to everyone arrested.

A bail bond is a written agreement with a surety or bail bondsman signed by the defendant, assuring that the defendant will appear in court for the said hearings. If the defendant fails to do so, the bond can be cancelled and he will be taken into custody.

Bail agents charge a percentage of the bail amount for their services. Before the accused are released, relatives or friends of the accused contact bail agents to make arrangements for the bail. The co-signers will have to assure the court before posting bail bonds that they will pay the full bail amount, if the defendants do not appear for the court date.

After the bail has been posted, should the defendants not honor the agreements and fail to appear in courts, the co-signers are wholly responsible to pay the full bail amount. If the defendants have to be sought and arrested by bail agents, the co-signers are responsible for all expenditures the bail agents incur while searching for the defendants.

Jailbusters Bonding Co. always keep all information confidential.  After all the paperwork has been signed and costs are paid, the bail agents post the bonds at appropriate locations.

Jailbusters Bonding Co. bail agents will assist you with consultations and provide a variety of 24/7 bail bond services to meet your needs. These services include payment plans and no-collateral bonds (on approved credit) and nationwide bonds, among others. We offer completely confidential service, with reliable, honest agents who will come to you if needed.

About Bail Bonds in Texas

It’s very important to understand that Texas bail agents can only write bonds in the county in which they’ve been licensed. If you need a bond in San Antonio (Bexar County) or Brownsville (Cameron County), Jailbusters can assist you.  If you need bonds in another County or State please contact us as we have a national network of professional bondsmen that we can refer you to.

Once you connect with an agent in the right county, you’ll need to pay a percentage of the bail amount to get the defendant released from jail pending all required court appearances.  Jailbusters Bonding Co., bail fees range anywhere from 10% to 25%. 

Good collateral – which backs the promise to appear in court – can lower the bail fee. An example of good collateral is rental property (meaning non-homestead, or principal dwelling, property). This is because in Texas, your primary residence can be protected from forced sale under the Homestead Act. This does not make a primary residence a good candidate for collateral, which the bail agent must use in case the defendant skips on his court appearance.  Rarely, does Jailbusters accept collateral for bonds.

Once you arrange for bail for a defendant in Texas, the time it takes for a jail to process it and release the defendant varies based on a number of factors. (Booking and jailing occurs around the clock.) However, in a large city like San Antonio, the average processing time once the jail accepts the bail paperwork is about six to 10 hours. 

How Bail Works in Texas

If you or someone you know has been arrested in Texas, it is very important that you understand exactly how bail works in Texas. Whenever someone is arrested, he or she will be taken to jail for booking and holding. In many cases, the individual will be able to get out of jail on a bail bond.

A bail bond is an amount of money that the courts will hold onto until the defendant has completed his or her criminal trial. The bail amount is determined based on the crime that the defendant has been accused of committing, as well as other factors, such as prior criminal history.

Because the cost of bail can be rather high for most people, many defendants choose to use bail bonding services. A bail bondsman is in the business of providing defendants with the full amount of bail that they need in order to get out of jail.

In order to use a bail bonding agency, it is important to understand how they work. A defendant contacts an agency after he or she has been arrested. The defendant needs to provide the bail bonding agency with his or her full name, booking number, accused crime, and any other information that the agency requests. From there, the bail bondsman will give the courts the full amount of the bail in the form of a bond.

In exchange for these bail bonding services, the defendant will need to pay the bail bondsman for his or her services. The payment is usually about ten percent of the total cost of bail. Once the full or down payment has been made, the defendant still needs to return to court in order to complete his or her criminal obligation. 

If a defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bondsman may also track the defendant down using licensed bounty hunters and other methods. Therefore, it is always wise for defendants to complete their court obligations, regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent. 


Texas Bail Bond Information and FAQ’s:

   

How does the bail process work?

Posting of a bail bond. This process involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by a bail agent and the individual posting bail. The bail agent guarantees to the court that the defendant will appear in court each and every time the judge requires them to.

For this service, the defendant is charged a percentage of the bail amount. Before being released the defendant or a relative or friend of the defendant, typically contacts a bail bondsman to arrange for the posting of bail. Prior to the posting of a bail bond, the defendant or a co-signer must guarantee that they will pay the full amount of bail if the defendant does not appear in court.

Typically, a family member or a close friend of the defendant will post bail and cosign. Collateral is not always required for a person to be bailed from jail. Often a person can be bailed from jail on the signature of a friend or family member. Cosigners typically need to be working and either own or rent a home in the same area for some time.

After an agreement is reached, the bail agent posts a bond for the amount of the bail, to guarantee the defendant’s return to court.

If the defendant "skips", the cosigner is immediately responsible for the full amount of the bail. If the defendant is located and arrested by the bail agent the cosigner is responsible for all expenses the bail enforcement agent incurs while looking for the defendant.

What is Bail?

The term Bail is used in several distinct senses: (1) It may mean the security—cash or bond—given for the appearance of the prisoner. (2) It may mean the bondsman (i.e., the person who acts as surety for the defendant`s appearance, and into whose custody the defendant is released).

Bail is evidenced by a bond or recognizance, which ordinarily becomes a record of the court. The bond is in the nature of a contract between the state on one side and the defendant and his sureties on the other. The agreement basically is that the state will release the defendant from custody the sureties will undertake that the defendant will appear at a specified time and place to answer the charge made against him. If the defendant fails to appear, the sureties become the absolute debtor of the state for the amount of the bond.


What is the purpose of bail?

The purpose of bail is to assure the attendance of the defendant, when his or her presence is required in court, whether before or after conviction. Bail is not a means of punishing a defendant, nor should there be a suggestion of revenue to the government.

Do I get my money back after the defendant goes to court?

When the bailbond has served its purpose, the surety will be exonerated (i.e., released from the obligation). Exoneration normally occurs when the proceeding is terminated in some way or on the return of the defendant to custody. After conviction, the defendant appears for sentence. If sentenced to imprisonment the defendant is committed to the custody of the sheriff, and the liability of the surety terminates. You will not receive any money back that you have paid a bail bondsman.

What if the person I bail out skips?

The surety or depositor may arrest the defendant, or authorize a bail enforcement agent or private investigator to do so for the purpose of surrendering him into custody to ensure his future appearance. This extraordinary power of the bail bondsman is of ancient origin. When bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties. The following may be authorized to arrest a bail fugitive: A certified law enforcement officer. A person licensed by the State to do so (i.e., holding a bail license in another state and authorized in writing by the bail or depositor to make the arrest). A person contracted and authorized in writing by the bail or depositor to do so, Bail Recovery Agent, A private Investigator. Persons doing the foregoing have been called bounty hunters, yet the term does not fit the facts of today`s world, they are acting under contract.

If the defendant does not appear and the court orders a forfeiture, can it be set aside if he later appears?

A court will sometimes order bail forfeited on the defendant’s nonappearance, then vacate the forfeiture to reinstate the bail when the defendant appears and offers an explanation for the absence. Some instances of this would be the nonappearance because of death, illness, or insanity, or detention by civil or military authorities, and if the absence was not with the connivance of the bail (acquiescence of the bonding company to the absence). An example of illness would be where the defendant is confined to bed by reason of a doctor’s order. If a defendant flees and the prosecuting agency does not seek extradition the bail may be exonerated.

If the defendant has skipped town, what must the bail fugitive recovery person be able to show? Is that person a bounty hunter?

That he possesses the authority to arrest by virtue of satisfying any licensure requirements a state may impose upon such a person. Additionally, he or she must have in their possession proper documentation of authority to apprehend issued by the bail or depositor, which shall include the name of the individual authorized to apprehend the bail fugitive, the address of the principal office, the name and business address of the bail agency, or other party contracting with the individual authorized to apprehend a bail fugitive. In a historical sense they are a bounty hunter as they generally are contracted to do this and are remunerated for their services by the bail agency or other contracting party. The bounty hunters of old are not the bail enforcement agents of today. Some jurisdictions require significant training and licensure of persons engaged in the recovery of bail absconders.


What if the underlying criminal charge is dismissed?

Statutes provide for exoneration of the surety in the event of dismissal. However, there is usually a time period within which the prosecuting agency may seek to re-arrest and charge with a public offense arising out of the same act or omission upon which the action or proceeding was based. You will not receive any money back from the bail bond company.

When can bail be increased?

After a defendant has been released, the court in which the charge is pending may require him to give additional bail in an amount specified or to meet an additional condition upon a finding made in open court that the defendant has failed to appear; or that additional facts have been presented that were not shown at the time of the original release order, and the court may order him to commitment unless he or she gives such bail or meets such other conditions.


What else may happen when a defendant fails to appear?

The court may issue a bench warrant for his apprehension and arrest for the failure to appear upon the underlying charge, which would thus be a separate triable offense, separate and distinct from the original charge. The appropriate agency will enter each bench warrant issued on a private surety—bonded felony case into the national warrant system (National Crime Information Center (NCIC).


What is an immigration bond?

An immigration bond issued for delivery of an alien guarantees that the individual will appear for all I.N.S. hearings on time and depart the United States at a specified date.  An immigration bond conditioned for maintenance of an alien, guarantees that the person will be financially independent during the time he/she is in the United States.


What is a bail bond indemnitor?

A bail bond indemnitor is the co-signer for the bail bond. The indemnitor is responsible for seeing that all premiums are paid for a defendant’s bail bond. Bail bonds are normally good for one year. If the case continues for longer than a year, additional premiums will be due and collected for each year the case goes on.

An indemnitor is no longer liable for the defendant’s bond when the defendant has completed all of his/her court appearances, and when all premiums have been paid. It is best to contact Jailbusters Bonding Company when the bail bond is exonerated by the court, to confirm that the bond is exonerated.

In the event of forfeiture, the indemnitor is liable until the full amount of the bail has been paid, plus any expenses incurred, or until the court exonerates the bond. The bond then becomes void. 

If you have any additional questions or are ready to do the bond.  Please call us as soon as possible in order to begin the bail bond process for you, your friend or family member.  

What if a person arrested is not a citizen, resident or in the United States legally?

Normally, the person arrested will be detained by the respective jail and they will contact the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office (ICE), formerly INS, to inform them of a potential deportee.  After an ICE agent interviews the detainee they will determine whether or not the detainee will be deported or allowed to bond out of jail.  If the detainee entered into the United States illegally they will be deported unless they have some form of legal documentation that allows for their entry into the United States.  If you or your family have additional questions please contact the proper agency(s) or an immigration attorney.
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