When a suspect is arrested for a criminal offense, he is held in custody until his arraignment or initial bail hearing. At this hearing, which usually takes place within a few days of arrest, a judge presents the charges to the accused and sets the bail amount.
How Does Bail Work?
Bail is an amount of money that is paid to the court as a way to guarantee that a defendant will show up for his or her court date. When bail is paid, the defendant is released from custody until trial. Because bail amounts can be set prohibitively high, most defendants rely on Washington County bail bonds services.
What is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a type of insurance, called a surety bond. It is a legal agreement that is entered into between a bail agent and the court, in which the agent agrees to be responsible for the total amount of bail in the event that the defendant doesn’t appear for a court date.
How Do You Get a Bail Bond?
First of all, the bail amount must have already been set by the court. Interested parties can find out the bail amount by contacting the detention center directly, or by having a lawyer contact them. Next, the defendant or his representative must contact a licensed bail agent. The agent will issue a bond for a fee equal to a certain percentage of the bail amount. The agent retains this fee regardless of the outcome of the case.
What Happens if the Bail Agreement is Broken?
In the event that the defendant breaks the terms of his bail by not appearing for a court date, the entire amount of the bail is forfeited to the court. In the case of a bail bond, this means that the agent will owe the court that amount. Any collateral that was offered to a bail agent in exchange for the bond will be forfeited. The judge will issue an arrest warrant and the defendant will remain in custody for the remainder of his or her trial.