Bail Bondsman to the Rescue
Everyone generally knows the phrase after you are arrested call your attorney. However, a few weeks I was at a gathering where veteran judges were speaking and there was an interesting quote by one of the judges; it went something along the lines of, “if you are ever arrested call your bail bondsman because they will post the money to get you out of jail and that’s what counts."
When this was said I recognized that he had a valid point because after you speak to a client or his family member after an arrest, your initial goal is simply to get the client out of jail and proceed from that point. For many people this concept of getting a bond to get out of jail is something they can only relate to via television. (See: http://www.dogthebountyhunter.com/ )
When a defendant is charged with an offense the court generally sets a bail bond. (There are some charges where there is no bond until there is a first appearance.) The purpose of the bail bond is twofold. First, it assures the court that the defendant will come back to court for future court dates. Secondly, it allows the accused the freedom to continue his life with limited interruptions until the date of the trial.
Types of Bonds: Cash/Surety
There are generally two types of bonds: a cash bond and a surety bond. A cash bond is the amount that is imposed by the judge. It can be a predetermined amount if there was a bench warrant and the defendant was picked up, or the cash bond amount can be determined after the arrest or at first appearance. After the defendant’s case is finished and any fines or payments that need to be paid come out of the cash bond, the remaining money goes back to the defendant.
A surety bond is a written guarantee by a bond company. Here is an example of one from Moncrief Bail Bonds: http://www.moncriefbailbonds.net/Moncrief/assets/Files/bail_bond_application.pdf) A surety bond ensures the defendant will appear at all court dates. A surety bond is an independent agreement between the defendant and the bonding company. Basically, the bonding company is providing the court with an “insurance policy" that the defendant will appear in court and is then liable for the full amount of the bond if the defendant does not appear. (see http://www.dogthebountyhunter.com/ for an example of when a defendant decided not to show up; however, there are no “bountyhunters" under Florida Statute 648.30 subsection section 2) If the defendant does not show up for court the problems he will face compounds because the bonding company is on the losing end.
Getting arrested is no fun but the ability to bail oneself out and regain some sense of freedom before an actual trial date can be a little weight off his shoulder.