What are Bail Bonds?
In the US criminal system, bail is a set amount deposit that is made to a court to ensure that a defendant will show up for future court proceedings.
The amount of bail that is required to release a defendant awaiting trial is set by a court judge and is dependent upon the severity of the crime and the potential risk of releasing the defendant into the community, as well as whether or not the accused poses a flight risk. A judge may also choose to refuse to offer bail, meaning the defendant must remain in jail while awaiting trial. For minor crimes, a judge may also release the defendant on his own recognizance. In this case, there is no bail, and the accused is released on condition he agrees to the court’s orders.
Because many defendants are unable to pay the high cost of bail in cash, bail bonds Scranton PA are often used in lieu of cash bail.
A bail bond is a type of surety bond that is issued by a bail bondsman in lieu of the full bail amount. Bail bondsmen charge a fee, generally 10% of the total bail amount, to issue the bond. The defendant pays the fee and then insures the rest of the bail with collateral, such as a home or piece of property.
When a defendant is out on bail, he or she is expected to show up for scheduled hearings. If the defendant does not appear as ordered, bail is revoked. The defendant’s total bail fee will be remanded to the court and a warrant issued for the defendant’s arrest.
In general, the bail bondsman retains the 10% of bail amount paid to him as his fee for services and for having incurred the risk of the bond. However, the property that was put up as collateral insurance (such as a home, vehicle or property) is returned to the defendant.