A bail bondsman, sometimes known as a bail bond agent or a bail bonds person, is a company or anyone that arranges for a criminal defendant’s bail in court. Bail is obtained by promising cash or assets as well as acting as a guarantee for the criminal suspect.
A judge will usually hold a bail hearing for someone who has been charged with a crime. The amount of bail is determined by the judge. If the prisoner is accused of a violent crime or appears to be a flight risk, the judge may deny bail or set it at an exorbitant amount. Bail amounts are determined by judges with a wide range of discretion, and average amounts vary by jurisdiction. Bail could be set at $500 for a defendant charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor. Felony offense charges come with a hefty bond, often in the range of $20,000 or more.
Bail bondsmen, often known as bail bond brokers, furnish criminal courts with written agreements to pay the full amount of bail if the defendants whose attendance they guarantee do not present on their trial dates. Bail bondsmen typically charge 10% of the bail amount up in advance in exchange for their services, with additional fees possible. The amount charged in some states has been capped at 8%. Most valuable property, including vehicles, jewelry, and residences, as well as stocks and bonds, is accepted by bail bondsmen. The defendant is released until his or her bail or bail bond is delivered.
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