In Miami, knowing how bail bonds work is a must for anyone facing legal trouble. This is never truer than when someone is awaiting trial and could face jail time if convicted. There is a big advantage to being mobile while waiting for your trial date instead of being in county lockup. That freedom of movement could be the difference between acquittal and conviction.
To get legal guidance about using bail bonds, you can contact a Miami criminal lawyer. They’ll explain how bail bonds work in Miami. With legal guidance you can trust, you will have a comprehensive understanding of why bail bonds are important, how they work, and how to obtain one.
Bail Bond Basics
Bail provides financial assurance a person defendant of having committed a crime will be present.
in court during legal proceedings. Once someone has been arrested, they could be deemed worthy of a controlled release before trial by paying the court a certain amount of money. Both the discretion of the judge and the nature of the crime influence the amount of money to be paid.
Getting to Know Bail Bonds
It’s common for the defendant and their families to not have enough money to cover the cost of bail. It is at this point that bail bonds become a factor. Bail bonds are simply contractual agreements between the court, the defendant, and a bail bondsman. The bondsman functions as a guarantor to the court, essentially making sure the defendant will make it to court.
What Bail Bondsmen Do
Bail bondsmen are important figures for defendant people who want to secure their release from jail. The defendant will seek a bondsman when they’re unable to cover the cost of bail. A non-refundable fee is paid to the bondsman, usually, a certain percentage of the total bail, and bail is posted on the defendant’s behalf. The fee is the bondsman’s wage for assuming the risk.
Collateral and Risk Assessment
To secure the bond, a bail bondsman may request collateral from the defendant’s family. Collateral can take many forms. Bondsmen are normally happy to accept property, automobiles, jewels, and other valuable possessions. Holding something of value gives them some security if the defendant should flee without paying them back. It also gives the defendant an incentive to repay the bondsman.
Collateral reduces the risk for the bondsman and ensures there will be some leverageable options for recourse in case the defendant doesn’t show up in court. Anyone seeking a bail bond will want to gain a comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of using collateral when carefully considering the terms of the bond agreement.
Applying for Bond
In Miami, securing a bond means reaching out to a reputable bonding agency for help. The defendant or their representative will disclose the details of the charges to the bonds agent, at which point the bondsman will consider whether to take the job. Also, the bondsman may request financial information and details about potential collateral.
Once they’ve reviewed the information, the bondsman assesses the risk and sets the fee for the bond. Should both parties agree to the terms, the bondsman posts the bail, the defendant is released from jail. It’s crucial for individuals seeking a bond to understand the terms of the agreement, including any conditions set by the bondsman.
What Happens After Obtaining a Bail Bond?
Once the defendant has secured a bail bond, they should focus their attention on activities that are not likely to get them in any further trouble. This usually means staying out of trouble, relying on friends and relatives for support, and having lots of contact with their attorney.
Sometimes defendants violate the terms of their bond, which can include but isn’t exclusive to fleeing, also called jumping bond. When this happens, a chain of legal events is usually set off that can include:
- Forfeiture of bail bond
- Bounty hunters and apprehension
- Additional charges
- Forfeiture hearing
- Seizure of collateral
- Legal and financial consequences
- Negative effect on co-signers
After making a bond, the defendant is expected to attend all scheduled court hearings. Those awaiting trial must comply with all court orders, and maintain open communication with their legal representation and the bail bondsman. Failure to appear in court can result in the forfeiture of bail bond, which is then usually followed by the issuance of an arrest warrant for the defendant.
The Price of Bail Bonds
Bail bonds in Miami can usually be secured through a bondsman at a fraction of what the court would demand. How much it takes is typically 10% to 15% of the total bail amount. In other words, bail set at $50,000 by the court would make a bondsman’s fee somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000.
While the fee isn’t refundable, it provides defendants with an accessible option when they couldn’t otherwise have bailed out of jail. An important caveat is that percentages vary depending on details such as prior criminal charges and convictions, the severity of the charges, and the policies of the bondsman.
Traversing the legal landscape can be stressful, complicated, and expensive. The details of bail bonds in Miami is another detail that defendants will have to worry about as they wait for their trial date. The best thing is to avoid getting into legal trouble, but when the unexpected occurs, knowing how to bond out of jail is an important card to play.
By understanding how to locate and secure the services of a bail bondsman, defendants can secure their release from jail. There’s no reason to wait for trial while sitting in the county lockup when you could be home safe with loved ones. You can talk face-to-face with your attorney in private as opposed to through a wall of glass with prison guards watching your every move. This allow you to take a more relaxed approach when waiting for the trial to begin.