How Does the Bail Process Work?

jail cells in a row

Discover the Bail Process With Our Professional Experts

Our team at Advanced Bail Bond takes the bail process in Advanced Bail Bond, [nw_data field=state] very seriously. Please review the following data to discover more, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 434-237-2245.

How Do I Get Bail for My Friend or Family Member?

Once your friend or family member has been detained and booked by police, the defendant can post a cash bail bond or contact a family member to assist with a bail bond. If a defendant posts cash, then the only costs are relatively minor state charges and court fees. When a family member is contacted for bail, they will pay the bail bond agent ten percent of the total bail amount.

Once the defendant is released, the defendant must adhere to the court mandated conditions of the bail. For instance, the defendant may be ordered to complete ten hours of community service in addition to staying in the county and completing an anger management class. The judge will have ultimate discretion to determine the conditions of bail. Once the defendant has fulfilled their end of the bail conditions, they will show up at court and present the evidence of their due diligence. If they do not, then a bounty hunter may be contacted to find and locate the defendant.

There are three types of bail. These bail types include:

  • Own recognizance.
  • Cash bond.
  • Property bond.
  • Bail bond company.

What is “Own Recognizance?”

Depending on the person, their criminal background, and their standing in the community, they may be released on their own recognizance. 

When a suspect is released on O.R., on  their own recognizance, they do not pay any money to the courts, there is no bond required from an attorney or bail bondsman, but they are required to sign a promise they will appear for any court ordered proceedings. There are options to post bail with no money in addition to being released on own recognizance: 

The other two options in addition to O.R. are: 

Cash Bail: This is the full amount of the bond set by the judge, paid in cash. That cash is returned after 90 days if the defendant appeared for all court ordered appearances. This includes their trial and any court ordered classes like anger management, alcohol and drug counseling, etc. 

Surety Bond: This is a contract between a bail bondsman and the court. The bail bondsman guarantees that the defendant will be at all court ordered appearances. In exchange for this, the defendant, a family member, or friend, have signed a guarantee to the bail bondsman the defendant will be present as required and usually a weekly check in is required by the bondsman. 

What Happens If You Don’t Pay a Jail Bond?

A down payment of 10% is paid to the bondsman which is not refundable.  If the defendant “skips” out and is a no show in court, the bail is foregone, and a warrant is issued for the defendant. Skip tracking and other means to find the defendant are engaged. There have been movies and television shows of this nature, while the “chase” may not be as exciting, the process will be something to that affect. 

Can Bail Conditions Be Changed?

In the state of Tennessee, bail shall not be modified by the court for a pending case unless there is change in the circumstances as by the higher court or when request is  presented by the defendant’s attorney.  A determining factor of any bail condition changes will be the crime at hand, the defendant’s criminal background, their standing in the community, time on the job, etc. 

What Happens When You Bail Someone Out of Jail and They Run?

As the Indemnitor (the person who got the bond) will be required to sign an agreement guaranteeing the person bailed out will appear for all court mandated appointments. 

This is not without responsibility on your part because you’re the one that will be paying any additional fees for missed court dates. This isn’t a social media page where you can unfriend them, this is real life, and it is serious. 

If you paid by cash or credit card for the bail bond, put up a house, jewelry, vehicle, or other items, you will lose it all because of this person you helped. When the person has not shown up for court, then the bail bonds company is advised by the court and the bail bonds company will notify you. Typically, there is a grace period to find the person and have them before the judge.  What happens at that point is up to the judge. 

Can a Cosigner Go to Jail?

You could, but you can also request to be dropped off that bond and leave that person liable on their own.  As the co-signer , you took responsibility for the defendant actions, but you also have the power to cancel that guarantee. The search will ensue for the defendant and when they are apprehended, they will be incarcerated. 

It is great that you can and want to help a family member or friend get out of jail by posting bond for them. It is a big responsibility and to minimize your risks as the  co-signer, the following are recommendations: 

  • Keep in touch with the defendant daily by phone and/or in person.
  • Call the defendant weekly to make sure they have been there and on time. 
  • Keep receipts and records, review the court-ordered appearances and dates with the defendant. 
  • Read the agreement thoroughly before signing it, ask questions if something isn’t clear. 
  •  If you aren’t sure about the person needing bail, don’t co-sign.

Does Bail Bond Affect Credit Score? 

Signing for or needing a bail bond will not be reflected in your credit report. What will show up is if you skip bail, don’t appear in court, you’ll then have an outstanding debt on your credit report. Or if you take out a loan to pay for a bond and then fall in arrears with the loan payment, that will be a negative mark on your credit. 

If the defendant or Indemnitor fails to pay the bondsman, they have the right to send it to collections, and that will go against your credit. The best way to handle getting a bail bond is to pay the full amount directly to the court in cash. Need bail? Call 434-237-2245 today for help with the bail process in Advanced Bail Bond, [nw_data field=state]. We also provide assistance with DUI bail bonds and theft/robbery bail bonds.