How Bail Bonds in St. Louis, Mo Really Work, and the Role a Bondsman Plays in the Justice System
When it comes to bail bonds in St. Louis Mo there is a lot of misinformation about how bail bonds really work, and how to go about hiring the best bail bondsman. It is my hope that the information that I'm sharing in this article will clear up some of those misconceptions, and will better educate on this topic if you should ever find yourself in need of a bail bond service.
Bail is the amount of money a person who has been charged with a crime needs to pay, in order to be released from jail prior to his or her court hearing. A bail bond, in simple terms, is a written promise signed by the defendant or another party (called the surety), agreeing to pay a certain amount to the court if the defendant fails to appear. One of the most common types of surety is a professional bail bondsman.
Many people hire bail agents because they cannot afford to post their own bail. The bail agency pays the entire amount of the bail on the defendant’s behalf by taking a non-refundable fee, which is usually 10% of the amount of the bail. If the defendant does not show up for his or her court date(s), the bail agency may be required to pay the entire amount of bail to the court. Bail bonding agencies work to secure the release of an individual from jail by making a financial arrangement with the court which can be either cash based or involve bonds or assets. The amount of the bail is set by the court or is taken from a “bond schedule.”
Bail bond agents offer a financial security to the court on behalf of defendants, and in the process they make sure their client appears in court when they are supposed to. In addition to this, bail bond agents and agencies are helpful for defendants who have been wrongfully charged or made a wrong decision. These people should not suffer, and they should be able to get out of jail on bail, and fulfill their responsibilities as they await their next hearing.
It must be remembered that bail can be denied in some cases when the suspect has committed a serious crime. At the end of the day, it is the court’s decision to allow or deny bail. However, the courts are not allowed to set an excessive amount for bail because it goes against the citizen’s rights according to the 18th Amendment.
Bail Bond agencies take calculated risks because it’s impossible to know for certain if the accused will show up for their court date(s). Bail Bondsmen must take the time to understand and analyze the risks associated with a bail bond and underwrite it correctly. The bail bondsman who signs the bond has to ensure the accused appears in court on the specified date(s) and time(s). Often times, in order to protect the bail agency against a loss, security is taken out against the assets of the defendant. If, however, the defendant cannot afford the bail because he does not have enough assets, in such a case the bondsman may take out securities against relatives and friends with their permission.
A bondsman looks at the profile of the person accused, including his occupation, employment, current charges, and past crime record to name a few things. These details help ensure the bail agency they are minimizing the risk and chances of the defendant fleeing. However, if the defendant skips bail, and the bondsman cannot produce him or her to the court within a specified period of time, the court will issue a judgment. This means the bail agency must pay the court the full amount of the bond. In such a case, everyone connected to that particular bond has to face the consequences.
If the accused fails to show up, it is completely legal for the bail bond agency to hire a bounty hunter. This is because it is the bail bondsman’s responsibility to see that the defendant shows up at the court hearing. If the defendant doesn’t show up, the agency has a responsibility to produce the defendant to the court. One way to do this is to hire a bounty hunter whose job is to find and bring back the suspect.
The whole process of posting a bail bond generally takes place at the court where the proceedings will take place, or the detention facility where the individual is being held. In some cases, bail may be posted without the defendant actually being physically present. As soon as the bail has been posted and the paperwork processed, the defendant is released from custody. Once the defendant shows up for all of their court dates, and their case has been disposed of, the liability of bail bond agency ends.
There are some circumstances in which a bail agencies liability can end prior to a court disposition. For example, if the defendant violates the conditions of a bond, or material facts about the defendant have changed, the bail bondsman may surrender the defendant to the court and be released from any further liability.
A bondsman generally charges a 10% premium for their service. In many cases if the defendant or other family and friends do not have the full 10%, the bail agency may accept a down payment, and then finance the remainder of the balance. Most bonding companies also accept all major credit cards.
Overall, the bail bonding business may seem like a risky business, and to a certain extent it is. However, it also plays a very important role in the criminal justice system. While many people debate the necessity for commercial bail, and portray bondsmen in a negative light, most are honest, law abiding citizens who operate a business to support their family.
For More information you can contact Bob Block Bail Bonds:
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Block Bail Bonds is St. Louis Mo oldest and largest bail bond company. We are a family owned business that was founded in 1959 and we serve the entire state of Missouri.