Bail and Bail Bonds
How you can get out of jail.
Bail is money which is posted with the court to guarantee that you will show up for your trial and other court proceedings related to the charges brought against you. What constitutes "reasonable" bail depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the crime with which you are charged, your previous criminal record, and your ties to the community. If you are charged with a relatively minor crime, have no past convictions, and have family and a job in the community, your bail may be relatively low.
But if you've been charged with a serious crime, have been convicted of other crimes in the past, and have nothing to keep you in the community, bail may be quite high. And in some cases, "reasonable" bail may be no bail at all, requiring you to remain in jail during the course of the criminal proceedings against you.
The most common kind of arrangement for paying pail is a bail bond. A bail bond is a promise by a licensed bonding agency that it will pay the court the full amount of your bail in the event you fail to appear in court as required. Generally, you'll be required to pay at least a percentage of the total bail to the bonding company (called a bail bondsman) as a nonrefundable fee for its services. And you will often have to offer property you own, such as your car or home, as collateral, which the bondsman can tap in the event you fail to make your court appearances.
Copyright 1999 ProSe Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.
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