If you or a loved one has been arrested, the experience can be frightening. However, what often makes it worse is how confusing the whole process can be. One of the first things that happen after being arrested is the hearing to set bail. This is where the judge decides if you can get out of jail by paying a certain amount of money, known as bail. It is very important to understand well what this means and how it can affect you.
Bail bonds in Florida
A bond is a certain amount of money that is paid to the court to get out of jail, understanding that you agree to return when you have to go to court. A bond is like an insurance policy that ensures that the person who has been arrested goes to court to answer the charges and does not run away and becomes a fugitive. If you meet the requirements imposed by the judge after paying bail and go to court for your hearings, the bond will be canceled. If you deposit the deposit in cash, the money will be returned (fewer court costs and other fees that have not been paid). If you requested the services of a bail bond agency in Florida, the property you gave as collateral for the bail bond will be released.
How much will bail be? When is bail set?
The vast majority of crimes are legally binding. That means you are allowed to post bail immediately unless there are extenuating circumstances. All Florida counties have standard bond tables, which vary from one place to another. That means that when you enter the county jail, your initial bond will already be fixed in the tables. For example, if you have a charge for simple possession of marijuana, the standard bond could be a minimum of $ 500. However, the more serious the crime, the greater the bail.
The amount you have to pay depends on a number of factors including your ability to pay, the nature of the crime for which you were arrested and whether you are considered a “flight risk.”
If you can not post bail for any reason, you have the right to an initial appearance before the judge within 24 hours of the arrest. This is the first appearance in court and is intended to ensure that those who have been accused have the opportunity to leave the prison as soon as possible. In exceptional cases, the bond can be denied in principle, but this only happens in case of crimes punishable by life imprisonment or capital crimes.
How is the deposit deposited?
Suppose the arrest is for a crime for which bail can be paid, and the bail is $ 10,000. In that case, there are two options. The first option is to contact a bail bonds agent. A surety agent is like an insurance agent. They deposit the bond on behalf of the person who is in custody, for a fee that is normally around 10% of the total bail. Therefore, if the bond is $ 10,000, the agent’s fee will be $ 1,000. This fee is not refundable. In addition, the agent will require a guarantee for the value of the bond. The guarantee can be anything with the same or greater value than the deposit, such as cash, jewelry, or property such as a house. When the case ends, the bond will be canceled and any guarantee given to the surety agent is released.
The second option is to pay the deposit in cash. If you choose that option, you can deposit the $ 10,000 bail in court. In that case, when the case ends, if the accused returns to court, as requested, those $ 10,000 dollars will be returned to the person who deposited them.
Remember that this is a simple explanation of how the bail process is, and your criminal lawyer will be able to explain in more detail all the requirements involved in this process, as well as the pros and cons of using the services of a bail bond agent or paying cash.