Bailing yourself out of jail can be expensive. Depending on the offense for which you have been arrested and charged, the judge may set your bail at hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
If you are like many people today, you do not have that kind of money sitting in your bank account. You need someone to front the money for you so you can get out of jail. Before you apply for a bank loan, surety bond, or lien on a car or house, you may want to know what is expected of you so you can repay the financing on time without risk going back to jail or adding to your charges.
The Specifics of a Bond
A bond is different than bail in that it is typically only a portion of what the court requires to release you from jail. If the offense that you have been charged with is relatively minor or the judge decides that you are not a flight or security risk to the community, you may be allowed to post 10 percent of what the bail is set for to get out of jail.
Even the 10 percent may be more than you have in your account, however. The bondsman can put up that 10 percent for you when you promise to repay that amount plus interest as well as show up for your court dates.
You must provide this guarantee in writing by signing a legally binding contract with the bondsman. This contract stipulates that you must pay back the amount in full as well as any interest that may apply to the total. The interest rate will be determined by your credit rating, income, and assets that you have that can be liquidated in case you default on the bond.
The contract also outlines what will happen if you abscond or jump bail. If you miss your court dates and leave town without permission from the court, you will be determined to have jumped bail, after which the bondsman can request an arrest warrant for you. Once you are arrested for jumping bail, you will be returned to jail and have to repay the full amount of the bail as well as penalties that apply for absconding.
After you understand these terms, you can pursue a bond for your release. You may then commit yourself to satisfying the contractual obligations.