Bail is an amount set by a judge based on the alleged crime. We will use DUI as an example of how bail bonds work. So you are out with some friends and you have one too many drinks and decide to drive home. You are stopped by a police officer who says you crossed the center line. He gives you a field sobriety test and you are placed under arrest for driving under the influence.
Some states require that you be held for a certain period of time before you can bond out. So we will say that you spend the night in jail. The following morning you will see a judge for a bond setting hearing. The judge sets you bail at $1,000.
Just because the bail was set at $1,000 doesn’t mean that is what you have to pay. The typical premium, or fee, for a bond is 10%. This means that the bail bondsman will charge you $100 in exchange for putting the full $1,000, or face value, up for you and you promise to appear in court.
A bail bondsman may also require that you have a cosigner for your bond. This is the bondsman’s insurance in the event that you fail to appear. If you miss court, your cosigner will have to pay the bail bondsman the $1,000 for your bond plus any fees accrued for your return to custody. This is called an indemnity agreement. An indemnity agreement is a civil contract with a bail bond company.
In most states, if you post bond, you are required to also hire an attorney. Public defenders are only reserved for those defendants still in custody. A list of attorneys in your area may be available at your bondsman’s office.
If you or a loved one are in need of a bail bond, call Big Mike’s Bail Bonds. We are conveniently located in Sedgwick County and are available to help you 24 hours a day.