Simply put a bond is a monetary guarantee that you will show up in court when you are ordered to. The defendant signs his bond which is a written promise that if he does not show up as required he will pay the government a sum of money. For all practical purposes there is no difference between a bond and bail. A cosigner or bondsman may also sign on the bond, giiving the court additional assurances that the defendant will show up for his court appearances.
What types of bond exist in Kansas?
Cash Bond. The defendant gives the money to the government up front. The money is returned at the end of the case if the defendant has shown up for all court.
Personal Recognizence. This is also called own recognizence or a signature bond. The defendant promises the court he will appear or pay the amont of the bond.
Surety Bond. This goes through a professional surety, a bondsman. The bondsman promises the court the defendant will appear or the bondsman will pay the court the amount of the bond.
O.R. Cash Deposit. Ten percent of the bond amount is given to the court up front. Most of the money is returned at the end of the case if the defendant appeared as ordered.
Property Bond. The deed to real estate is signed over to the court to guarantee the defendant's appearance. This is very uncommon.
What happens if you use a bondsman?
A bondsman is a person whom the court has approved to write bonds in a given jurisdiction. The bondsman is usually backed up by an insurance company. A bond is basically an insurance policy for the court. The court wants its defendants to appear as ordered. The bond operates to motivate someone to insure the defenant's appearance.
In the case of the bondsman, he loses money if the defendant does not appear. Therefore he will atttempt to secure the defendant's appearance. If the defendant does not show for court the bondsman will try to track him down and turn him in to the jail so that he does not have to pay the court the amount of the bond. If the bondsman does have to pay the court the bond amount he will come after the defendant to pay him back. This is a term of his contract with the defendant.
Can a bondsman really arrest someone?
Whether it is technically an "arrest" or not is an interesting legal question but of no practical importance. If a person has signed a contract with a bondsman he has given permission for the bondsman to seize his body and return him to the jail.
Most bondsmen will place other conditions on their bonds. These could include a requirement of weekly contact or living at a certain place. The defendant and the bondsman sign a contract governing their relationship. If the defendant does not like a particular term he can attempt to negotiate it he is free to contact a different bondsman.
What does a bondsman cost?
As with any service the prices will vary. However most bondsmen in most locations in Kansas usually charge about ten percent of the amount of the bond as their fee. Remember this is how they make their living. This is money they earn for guaranteeing the appearance of the defendant in court. It is not returned at the end of the case.
Bondsmen can definitely charge more or less. If a person is from out of state they will generally charge more. If a person has a bad history of failing to appear in court they will generally charge more. If a person is a good and frequent customer they might give a discount.
Can you get a personal recognizence bond?
Most people would like a personal recognizence or signature bond. This allows them to get out of jail without having to come up with any money for the court or a bondsman. Whether the judge will approve a P.R. bond or not is up to him.
Factors in this decision include the seriousness of the crime, the defendant criminal history, the defendant's ties to the community, the defendant's history of appearing in court as ordered, the facts of the case, and community safety. A person can always ask the judge for a P.R. bond but whether he will get it or not is an open question.
What happend if you fail to appear in court?
When a person fails to make a court appearance the judge will issue a bench warrant for his arrest and forfeit the bond. This means the judge orders that the amount of the bond be paid to the government. If the defendant was on a P.R. bond this is very easy as the court already has the money. If the person bonded out of jail using a bondsman the bondsman must pay the money to the court, unless he can quickly turn the person in to the jail. If the bondsman does this the judge will usually let him off the hook. However the judge will usually still order that the defendant pay the government the amount of the bond. If the bondsman actually has to shell out the money to the government he will come after the defendant or his cosignor to get his money back. It is part of the contract between the bondsman and the defendant and anyone who cosigns with the defendant.
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