24/7 Bail Bonds†Tips & Process
After you have one of our 24 hour agents on the phone, we can go over all the other specifics. Sometimes when a person is arrested it may take hours for a jail to book them, depending on how busy that jail is. You must understand that this is a necessary process, and has nothing to do with the bail bonding process. However, once they are booked, we will post their bond immediately, and the release process will begin. A bond cannot be posted to the jail until they have been booked. This process can be the most difficult to wait through, but we will guide you as to the best and easiest way to get your family member, friend or loved one out quickly! We understand it is stressful, and based on their circumstances, charges or bond, will advise you how to proceed.
- 24/7 Bail Bonds Tips & Process
- 1: WHAT IS BAIL?
A bail bond is a financial guarantee to the court. It is usually posted by a contracted Bail Bondsman for a premium with collateral and/or signatures, or by cash in full to the jail, ensuring that the defendant will appear at all court dates until the case is over.
- 2: USING A BAIL BONDSMAN OR PAYING DIRECTLY TO THE JAIL, WHATíS THE DIFFERENCE?
In most states, a defendant or any other person, may deposit the bail in full directly to the jail or to a bail bondsman for greater protection and advocacy. What is important to understand is that in Florida all bail paid to the jail must be paid in full using the western union or cash method, this may vary from county to county but itís general practice. If you post bail to the jail directly, it MUST BE in the full amount, and you may be paying unnecessary costs. Using a bail bondsman, you usually only pay a premium and the collateral or signatures needed can guarantee the financial obligation of the bond for the court through the surety agent.
When you post directly to the jail, the amount of the defendants court fees, jail fees, bail, and any other fees related to the case during the entire length of the case will be deducted from the amount you pay. So, if the jail/court says that you will be refunded the bail when the defendant completes court, they mean that after the case is over and disposed of and all or any fees are paid, you will get a refund of the difference if there is any. If there is not, you will get no refund. There is no acception or other refund in any other instance for this. Please be certain you are fully aware of all immediate charges which will come out of that money you post, and are kept up to date as the court or jail deducts expenses, fees and fines relating to the defendants case. You cannot cancel your payment once you post it. In the rare instance a person is completely dismissed of all charges, that may be different, but not ever guaranteed. A bondsman is a guarantee of both the bond, and the return of collateral used if any.
You may use a bondsman for many reasons. In Florida, the Florida State Department of Financial Services regulates the fees all bondsman may apply to a bond. They regulate that a premium of 10% is payable to the bondsman for any bondable charge of $1000 or more. The 10% is not deducted from the amount of the bond, it is just what you must pay upfront. If the bondable charge is anything less than $1000, the premium fee is always $100 for each charge. Simple as that. The premium you pay is the non-refundable payment to the bondsman for protecting you, the defendant, and the bond based on what the Florida law provides. The bondsman can work with the defendant as an advocate, as well help keep the bond secure and ensure that the defendant always appears in court and has updated and current court information. In the event there are any other issues, the bondsman may also be able to assist in clearing other matters as they arise. The jail or court, will not advocate in this way.
- 3: IS THE PREMIUM REFUNDABLE OR JUST THE COLLATERAL?
The premium you pay is the non-refundable payment to the bondsman for protecting you, the agent, the defendant, and the bond based on what the law provides. The collateral is always payable for the full amount of the bond, and not the bond minus the premium. The collateral is fully refundable whether it be funds or other of value, after the case is discharged by the court as a matter of law.
- 4: WHAT ARE OTHER REQUIREMENTS REGARDING COLLATERAL AND SIGNATURES WHEN USING A BAIL BONDSMAN?
Depending on the nature of the charge, criminal history, bond amount, community standing, employment or not, living situation and any other factors WHICH YOU WILL DISCUSS WITH AN AFBB AGENT, the bondsman may require either just a signature to financially guarantee the bond for the court and all you will need to pay is a premium, or there may be some security needed to qualify the bond amount, such as in terms of collateral. It is important you understand that you are legally, contractually and financially agreeing to the commitment of the bond terms and conditions when a defendant is bonded out of jail and you use any bondsman. The laws protect you, the defendant, the court and the bondsman, so while this is a binding obligation which all parties are responsible for should the defendant flee or disappear and is unable to be found, it is still the most secure way to post bail.
Unlike paying a bond to the jail, if any collateral is placed with the bondsman, whether it be money, credit, property or other tangible asset. The collateral is returned when the defendant appears for their court dates and when the case is closed. This is a much more secure process if any money or credit funds are involved. There are no court fees, legal costs or jail costs that the court can demand from the collateral used to deposit with the bondsman, unless the defendant disappears, is unable to be found or brought back to jail and the bond is forfeited.
- 5: DO YOU ACCEPT PAYMENT PLANS, SIGNATURE BONDS AND WHAT KIND OF COLLATERAL CAN BE USED?
Yes, this is on a case by case basis. You will need to contact an agent to discuss your options based on your circumstances. We take a payment for the 10% Premium and if just a signature is required, there is no need for payment plans. If collateral is required, payment plans may be made or necessary arrangements depending on the type of collateral and the terms are set by the bondsman in accordance with the law. Collateral may be money, credit, bonds, investments, cars or other forms of transportation kept in secure storage, vehicle titles, property, deeds, boats, jewelry, electronics, etc. anything of value which is equal to or greater than the total amount of the bondable charges.
- 6: WHAT IF THE ACCUSED (DEFENDANT) IS SENTENCED TO PROBATION?
When a defendant is convicted, or given probation the case will have received a disposition, the bail surety will be exonerated and the bail contract will be released from obligation once the bondsman receives notice from the court. If there is any collateral on deposit with the bondsman, it will be returned within the time specified as a matter of law.
- 7: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SURETY AND A PROFESSIONAL BAIL BONDSMAN?
A professional bail bondsman pledges their own property as security to guarantee the bail bond. A surety bail bondsman utilizes the backing of an admitted insurance company like AIA Surety, and is also able to post immigration bail bonds or bonds in federal court, where a professional bail agent is not.
- 8: WHAT ARE THE RELEASE OPTIONS IF SOMEONE IS ARRESTED?
THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUR BASIC OPTIONS FOR A RELEASE: CASH BAIL: To be released on cash bail, the total amount of the bail (not just 10%) must be given to the court in cash. The court holds this money until the case is concluded, providing the incentive for the defendant to show up in court. If the defendant does appear for all court proceedings, the cash bail is returned in full MINUS THE DEDUCTION OF FEES, FINES AND COSTS AND UPON CASE CLOSURE.
SURETY BOND: The most common bail bond is a Surety Bond. It involves a contract with a bail agent who posts a bond for the full bail amount, which financially guarantees that the defendant will show up for all court proceedings. The bail agent typically charges the defendant a premium of 10% of the bail amount for this service.
RELEASE ON OWN RECOGNIZANCE (R.O.R.): This program is usually offered to low risk individuals with no past criminal record or non-violent offenses.
PRE-TRIAL RELEASE: A form of release where the defendant is released, but remanded to the custody of the court providing certain conditions. There may be fines, interlock devices, location or house arrest devices required to be placed on the defendant prior to release. There may be court required or probation visits, phone call check-ins, fees and fines for programs required, drug and alcohol testing, etc. Sometimes a minor violation will send the defendant back to jail without bond. Bondsman may require similar conditions, but there is greater freedom and flexibility involved.
- 9: WHAT IF THE DEFENDANT DOES NOT APPEAR FOR COURT?
A few different things are possible. If you use an AFBB bail bondsman, and the defendant has a difficulty appearing for court due to a legitimate, proven and documented claim, the bondsman may be able to advocate and have a court date reset. If the defendant fails to appear for court and you has not used a bondsman a warrant for their arrest will immediately be issued, and they will be in the same predicament all over again.
If a defendant is using a bondsman and fails to appear for court, the bondsman will attempt to locate and return the defendant to the court to either reset the case date or remand back to the jail, if the defendant and/or indemnitor is uncooperative. The bondsman will have authority and jurisdiction to track and transport the defendant from anywhere and remand them back to the custody of the court or jail, and the collateral is still returnable should the defendant be found or the court date be reset.
If the defendant fails to appear and is unable to be located, the collateral and bailbond will be forfeited to the court. This is the only case where the collateral is non-returnable.
- 10: WHAT HAPPENS IF THE DEFENDANT IS NOT BAILED OUT?
If the defendant is not bailed out, they will remain in the custody of the jail until the case is resolved or time is served according to the law. This can be any length of time, which is why it is not beneficial to wait out bail.
- 11: WHAT HAPPENS AT MAGISTRATE OR THE FIRST APPEARANCE HEARING?
A first appearance bond hearing is court appearance happens in front of the magistrate, by person or by video and is a right to all defendants within the first 24 hours after arrest. All persons detained have the right by law to see a judge within 24 hours.
If a person is arrested and is in jail at the time they are scheduled for Magistrate, they will go in front of the judge to either confirm, increase, decrease or deny a bond or charge. This is not where a defendant pleads guilty or not guilty. The defendant will be told what he/she is being charged with and the judge will use a few factors to determine what the bond will be, if it is not already been set and entered in at booking.
If a bond amount is set for any charge at booking and the person is completely booked into the jail, they do not have to wait for Magistrate (first appearance) court in order to bond out. If there is no bond amount set, they are required to wait for Magistrate.
An experienced bail bondsman like an AFBB agent will be able to give better guidelines as to whether it is recommended for the arrested person to wait and see the Magistrate Judge at (first appearance) court, or bond out asap.
You are encouraged to seek legal advice before the defendant goes before Magistrate, especially, if you are uncertain of any information. Many times, it is not in the best interest of the defendant to appear at Magistrate and may be beneficial to bond out first if the option and recommended by counsel.
- 12: WHAT HAPPENES WHEN SOMEONE IS ARRESTED?
It can depend on many factors, but the standard is for the arresting agency to file the arrest paperwork and deliver the arrestee to the main jail facility within that county if required. Once the arrestee is booked through the process and the charges are confirmed and outstanding warrants are checked and the information is put into the jail system, the defendants full charges and bond amount if any will be verified and available, and the person is then able to be bonded out of jail.
- 13: WHAT IS THE BASIC PROCESS FOR BONDING SOMEONE OUT OF JAIL?
You will need to provide us with at least their name and what county or city you believe them to have been arrested or taken. If you have their bond amount, charges, date of birth or any other pertinent info, that will help answering questions go faster, and we can verify information more quickly.
If the person has not been fully booked, some information can be confirmed, but the bond cannot yet be dropped unless that is confirmed through the jail by the bondsman. The booking process can be short or lengthy depending on how busy the jail is. One of our agents will know when they are booked.
All Florida Bail Bonds agents will need to know who and how the arrested person is being bonded out.
The premium will be paid, any signature, collateral and paperwork will be completed and paid or secured, and the bondsman will post the bond to the jail immediately thereafter.
The release process may take anywhere from an hour to several hours up to 12 on average, again depending on how busy the jail may be. This process is controlled and determined only by the jail. They usually do not speed up the process when friends, family or relatives call. So, it is recommended that when the bondsman has posted a bond, you permit the jail to complete its process to avoid interruptions or delay. If there are any issues or problems the jail will contact the bondsman directly and the bondsman will do whatever is necessary to assist the defendant and signer of the bond to ensure the release.
Once the defendant is release they MUST appear within 24 hours with IDENTIFICATION to the All Florida Bail Bonds office, in person to complete the bond process. This is a requirement of the bond regulations. The defendant will review with the agent all the paperwork and get information regarding court dates and such. Then they are free to go while under the conditions and obligation of the bond, and make certain to appear for all scheduled court dates.