Bail Bonds 101: Essential Things You Must Know

Anyone who has been into some serious legal trouble in Utah most likely has been bailed out by a company specializing in bail bonds in Heber City and other areas within the state. A bail bond (also known as a surety bond) is an amount set by a court of law and serves as a legal agreement between the court and the defendant. The bail bonds company acts as a guarantor for the defendant so the court would allow the latter temporary freedom while the case is being heard. In return, the company charges a certain amount as service fee (around 10 to 15% of the total bail amount set by the court).

Since the bail bonds company is taking the risk, they usually ask for collateral – anything of value belonging to the defendant. As a rule, the company will have the right to forfeit the collateral should the defendant fail to make good on his or her obligation to settle the amount that the bail bonds company has paid to the court.

Collateral may be any of the following:

  • Real estate/property
  • Vehicle
  • Stock
  • Credit card
  • Jewelry item
  • Bank account

Now, after you have been released from jail, you are expected to appear to all the court hearings concerning your case. Also, you must report to the bail bonds company on approved schedules whole your case is being heard. You must also keep yourself away from further legal troubles and follow everything that is stipulated in your bond agreement.

Qualities of a great bail bonds company

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a bail bonds company to help you out on your bail needs, be sure to look for these qualities:

  • They must be licensed. All bail bonds company and bail bondsmen (or bail agents) must have the necessary state-issued license for them to legally operate. Part of the licensing process is for bail agents to undergo continuing education to ensure that they’re updated with relevant laws concerning bail enforcement. As such, never seek help from a bail bonds company that doesn’t have the requisite license as it could cause you further trouble than what you already face.
  • They should be available 24/7. Anyone could get arrested for a crime or offense at any time of the time, including the wee hours. With this, you should ensure that your preferred bail bonds company can extend assistance no matter what time of day. Once the court has set an amount for your bail, your bail bonds company can immediately make the necessary leg work so you can be released from jail at the earliest possible time.
  • They should not charge more than the state-imposed ceiling. Bail bonds companies are regulated by states, as well as the amount that they are allowed to charge as service fees. This amount varies from state to state but typically, it’s around 10% to 15% of the total bail amount. Knowing this, you have to make sure that your bail bonds company does not charge more than what the state allows. A customary inquiry on such charges before obtaining the services of the bail bonds company will do the trick.

With all these critical pieces of information, you should have an easy time navigating through the bail bond process. Just follow whatever is spelled out in your bond agreement and you’ll surely stay clear of additional legal hiccups.