Being arrested because of a criminal charge is never an easy thing. It would feel more like a traumatic experience for anyone who has to go through it. Most of the time, it would be the first time that anyone has to experience something like that and it can be quite nerve wracking.
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It is also a time of confusion and uncertainty since it is mostly their first time to go through something like that. People are usually confused as to what they should do during such an experience. One thing that people should understand about the criminal justice system is how bail bonds work.
The Bail System and How it Works
Bail is money that has been set by the court and held by it in exchange for the freedom of an individual. After the bail has been paid, the accused person would be free to go, but he is obliged to attend the court hearing or to make appearances when he is told to do so. In some cases, when the charges are minor, the person can pay the bail right away, without having to appear in court.
In most criminal cases, the proceedings could take months, which means that the accused would have to stay in jail, if not for the bail system. That would make the person unable to function normally and earn a living. The bail system allows a person to live a relatively normal life while the trial goes on.
Determining the Bail Amount
The amount of the bail depends on the severity of the crime, but it is the judge who sets the exact amount. There are places where there are standard amounts for certain cases, but mostly it is still up to the judge. A person’s criminal record for example could also be a determining factor.
Types of Bail
When the accused for the full amount of the bail using cash, check or credit cards that is called cash bail. The other type of bond is the so-called bail bond or surety bond. This is the kind of bail used when the person is unable to afford the bail that has been set.
When a person lands in jail and is unable to pay the bail, a relative can get in touch with a bail agent. The bail agent is backed by an insurance company known as a surety company. The agent is the one to pay for the full amount of the bond.
In exchange for paying the bond, the agent can charge 10% and is also allowed to collect some form of security. The security is needed in order to ensure against the person running away. The relatives of the accused person are also involved in the whole process.
If a person runs away or does not make appearance in court on the needed dates, he can then be hunted down by bounty hunters. Bounty hunters are people who hunt down people who jumped bail. They get a percentage of the bail.