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Bail Bonds for Beginners: What You Need to Know

If you have never been arrested before, the bail bond process may be a mystery to you. Knowing what bail bonds are, how they work, and how you can secure a bail bond for yourself can help make a stressful situation better. Take a look at what you need to know in the event that you are arrested.  

What Is Bail?

If you are put in jail for a serious crime, the police may force you to stay in jail until you’ve posted bail. Bail is a monetary deposit. The deposit is kept in a safe location until you appear in court. After you go to court, the bail money will be returned.

What Is a Bail Bond?

If you can’t afford bail, you may be able to get a friend or loved one to post a bail bond for you. A bail bond is a promise made by a bail agent. The bail agent promises to pay the bail in the event that you do not show up in court.
 
The bail agent generally makes this promise only after securing collateral and a 10% bail premium from your cosigner. When you appear in court, the collateral is returned to the person who helped you post bail, but the 10% bail premium stays in the hands of the bail agent.

How Much Does Bail Cost?

The bail amount varies. Bail is determined by a set schedule or a judge, which can vary from one location to another. Generally, the least serious crimes require no bail at all. Bail is typically reserved for people accused of more serious crimes. Even low bail amounts are often several hundred dollars.

What’s the Procedure for Getting a Bail Bond?

In the event that you are arrested, you are typically allowed a phone call. You can use this phone call to reach a loved one who is willing to get a bail bond.
 
The person securing the bond (called the cosigner) must go to a bail bondsman, or the bail bondsman may meet them at the jail. To get you out of jail, the person posting bail must have information like your full name, what jail you’re being held at, and your booking number.
 
The cosigner may need of collateral, like the title to their home or car. The amount of collateral they need to put up depends on the amount of the bail. The bail bondsman can discuss this with them before the meeting so they’ll be prepared when the time comes.

What’s a Bail Hearing?

If you are accused of a serious crime, the bail amount may be set by a bail hearing. You’re not allowed to leave jail until after the bail hearing takes place and the bail amount is determined.

Are You Released Immediately After Bail Is Paid?

If bail is paid at the jail where you’re located, you may be able to go home with the cosigner. If the release does not happen right away, you’ll need to wait while the clerk processes the bail payment. This can take hours. If you’re not in the same jail where the bail is posted, this is one of the things that can cause the release to be delayed.

What Happens If You Fail to Appear in Court?

If you fail to appear in court, the cosigner’s collateral will be confiscated. The bail bondsman will also try to get you to appear in court.

Who Can You Turn to for More Information?

If you have more questions about how to post bail in Minnesota, or if you have questions about how bail works, talk to an expert. At Absolute Bail Bonds, we are happy to answer any questions you might have about bail. Give us a call today to find out more.