Everything You Need to Know about Bail Bonds

Picture of a man behind jail cell bars
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To face the brutal truth, you or your loved one may get arrested for one reason or another and end up in jail. It can be very distressing, especially if it is your first time being arrested and unceremoniously bundled behind bars. It may make things a bit easier to learn that you don’t have to stay in before your case is determined. You can gain reprieve by applying for a bond soon after your arrest. If it goes through successfully, you will have a good time to focus on the case ahead. All in all, you need to be familiar with the basics of bonding. You don’t need any legal background to understand legal procedures because we will break it down for you.

A bond, or bail bond, is the sum of money a judge asks for, by law, so as to set you free before trial. It is a financial incentive to make you voluntarily return to court on trial day; otherwise, you are supposed to be incarcerated until your case is concluded. Bails are granted to accused persons who have or are suspected to have, committed felonious or misdemeanor crimes of a moderate level of severity. If it happens that you were involved in a severe crime such as robbery with violence, terrorism or murder, you may as well forget about bonds. Note that you still have to appear in court on the trial date, with or without a bond.

Your bail amount will depend on the nature and severity of the crime you have or suspected to have committed. The amount may also be pegged on your criminal background as an individual. If you have a history of committing crimes, you may be charged more than they would a first offender. Nevertheless, bond amounts are predetermined by the courts and are not negotiable. Your attorney has the onerous task of securing the best bond and with the most favorable conditions, the courts may grant.

The bond money is kept by the courts as a surety that you will present yourself before the judge for trial. Being a good citizen, you wouldn’t want to complicate matters further by performing a disappearing act. You are eligible for a refund of all the money paid as bond upon appearing for trial. If something happens and you fail to show up, the money can be used to offset court fees and a warrant of re-arrest will be issued against you. It would also be a clear indication that you have no respect for the South Carolina courts and this would attract dire consequences.

Depending on the crime committed, the bond amount may be considerably high. You or your loved ones may not be in a position to raise the sum stated, but you need the freedom to focus on your case. You can find your way out of such a quagmire by engaging the services of a bondsman. Companies like The Bail Pros, Aladdin Bail Bonds, and National Bail Bonds are large organizations that you can call for help. The bondsman acts as your surety, and you only pay a percentage of the total bond amount, ranging from 10% to 15% depending on the type of bondsman you have chosen. However, you have to meet the necessary requirements to qualify to enlist a bondsman. Remember to turn up for trial on the date the judge has set for you.

Dire consequences await not only you but your bondsman as well should you infringe on the requirements of the bond. If you act the buffoon and skip town, an authorized bail enforcement agent will seek your arrest with the sole purpose of surrendering you to the authorities. Upon arrest, you will be kept under wraps until the trial date. If the trial drags for years, you will have to remain in custody until its conclusion.

You should initiate bond proceedings as soon as you are bundled behind bars. Engage a lawyer immediately and if you can’t afford one, look no further than the Public Defender’s office. You should be granted a bond hearing within 24 hours as stipulated by law. Hold your horses during this process as you will not be required to take a plea at this stage. The judge will assess the situation and choose whether to grant the bond.

Understanding the process of obtaining bonds can take the sting out of the indignity associated with being arrested, bundled into the waiting police van and whisked off to the nearest station, sirens blaring. Knowing that you won’t stay in jail for long will cool down your nerves a bit and allow you to think clearly for the next course of action.

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